The spatial distribution of oxygen in the interstellar medium of galaxies is the key to understanding how efficiently metals that are synthesized in massive stars can be redistributed across a galaxy. We present here a case study in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC1365 using 3D optical data obtained in the TYPHOON Program. We find systematic azimuthal variations of the HII region oxygen abundance imprinted on a negative radial gradient. The 0.2 dex azimuthal variations occur over a wide radial range of 0.3 to 0.7 R25 and peak at the two spiral arms in NGC1365. We show that the azimuthal variations can be explained by two physical processes: gas undergoes localized, sub-kpc scale self-enrichment when orbiting in the inter-arm region, and experiences efficient, kpc scale mixing-induced dilution when spiral density waves pass through. We construct a simple chemical evolution model to quantitatively test this picture and find that our toy model can reproduce the observations. This result suggests that the observed abundance variations in NGC1365 are a snapshot of the dynamical local enrichment of oxygen modulated by spiral-driven, periodic mixing and dilution.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||The Astrophysical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - 30 Aug 2017|