Galactic winds - how to launch galactic outflows in typical Lyman-break galaxies

W. von Glasow, M.~G.~H. Krause, J. Sommer-Larsen, A. Burkert

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We perform hydrodynamical simulations of a young galactic disc embedded in a hot gaseous halo using parameters typical for Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs). We take into account the (static) gravitational potentials due to a dark matter halo, a stellar bulge and a disc of stars and gas. Star formation is treated by a local Kennicutt–Schmidt law. We simplify the structure of the interstellar medium (ISM) by restricting the computational domain to a 25th of the full azimuthal angle, effectively assuming large-scale axisymmetry and neglecting any effects of spiral structure and focus on the large-scale ISM drivers, the superbubbles. Supernovae are triggered randomly and have preset event sizes of several tens to hundreds. We further investigate different halo gas pressures and energy injection methods. Many of our simulated galaxies, but not all, develop bipolar outflows. We characterize the strength of the outflow by mass and energy outflow rates, and investigate the effect of changes to the details of the model. We find that supernovae are more effective if comprised into larger superbubbles. The weight and the pressure of the halo gas is able to quench galactic outflows. The wind emerges from a series of superbubbles in regions where a critical star formation density is exceeded. The superbubbles expand into the gaseous halo at slightly supersonic speed, producing radiative shock waves with similar characteristics as the absorption systems observed around LBGs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1170
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jul 2013
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2013


  • methods: numerical, ISM: bubbles, galaxies: evolution, galaxies: haloes, galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: ISM


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