Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): Variation in galaxy structure across the green valley

Lee S. Kelvin*, Malcolm N. Bremer, Steven Phillipps, Philip A. James, Luke J.M. Davies, Roberto De Propris, Amanda J. Moffett, Susan M. Percival, Ivan K. Baldry, Chris A. Collins, Mehmet Alpaslan, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Sarah Brough, Michelle Cluver, Simon P. Driver, Abdolhosein Hashemizadeh, Benne W. Holwerda, Jarkko Laine, Maritza A. Lara-Lopez, Jochen LiskeWitold Maciejewski, Nicola R. Napolitano, Samantha J. Penny, Cristina C. Popescu, Anne E. Sansom, Will Sutherland, Edward N. Taylor, Eelco van Kampen, Lingyu Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Using a sample of 472 local Universe (z < 0.06) galaxies in the stellar mass range 10.25 < logM*/M < 10.75, we explore the variation in galaxy structure as a function of morphology and galaxy colour. Our sample of galaxies is subdivided into red, green, and blue colour groups and into elliptical and non-elliptical (disk-type) morphologies. Using Kilo- Degree Survey (KiDS) and Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) Kilo-Degree Infrared Galaxy Survey (VIKING) derived postage stamp images, a group of eight volunteers visually classified bars, rings, morphological lenses, tidal streams, shells, and signs of merger activity for all systems. We find a significant surplus of rings (2.3s) and lenses (2.9s) in disk-type galaxies as they transition across the green valley. Combined, this implies a joint ring/lens green valley surplus significance of 3.3s relative to equivalent disk-types within either the blue cloud or the red sequence. We recover a bar fraction of ~44 per cent which remains flat with colour, however, we find that the presence of a bar acts to modulate the incidence of rings and (to a lesser extent) lenses, with rings in barred disk-type galaxies more common by ~20-30 percentage points relative to their unbarred counterparts, regardless of colour. Additionally, green valley disk-type galaxies with a bar exhibit a significant 3.0s surplus of lenses relative to their blue/red analogues. The existence of such structures rules out violent transformative events as the primary end-of-life evolutionary mechanism, with a more passive scenario the favoured candidate for the majority of galaxies rapidly transitioning across the green valley.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4116-4130
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Early online date14 Apr 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018


  • CD- galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: elliptical and lenticular
  • Galaxies: spiral
  • Galaxies: star formation
  • Galaxies: statistics
  • Galaxies: structure

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