The VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey: The evolution of galaxy clustering per spectral type to z ≃ 1.5

B. Meneux, O. Le Fèvre, L. Guzzo, A. Pollo, A. Cappi, O. Ilbert, A. Iovino, C. Marinoni, H. J. McCracken, D. Bottini, B. Garilli, V. Le Brun, D. Maccagni, J. P. Picat, R. Scaramella, M. Scodeggio, L. Tresse, G. Vettolani, A. Zanichelli, C. AdamiS. Arnouts, M. Arnaboldi, S. Bardelli, M. Bolzonella, S. Charlot, P. Ciliegi, T. Contini, S. Foucaud, P. Franzetti, I. Gavignaud, B. Marano, A. Mazure, R. Merighi, S. Paltani, R. Pellò, L. Pozzetti, M. Radovich, G. Zamorani, E. Zucca, M. Bondi, A. Bongiorno, G. Busarello, O. Cucciati, L. Gregorini, F. Lamareille, G. Mathez, Y. Mellier, P. Merluzzi, V. Ripepi, D. Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


We measure the evolution of clustering for galaxies with different spectral types from 6495 galaxies with 17.5 ≤ IAB ≤ 24 and measured spectroscopic redshifts in the first epoch VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey (VVDS). We divide our sample into four classes, based on the fit of well-defined galaxy spectral energy distributions on observed multi-color data. We measure the projected correlation function wp(rp) and estimate the best-fit parameters for a power-law real-space correlation function ζ(r) = (r/r0). We find the clustering of early-spectral-type galaxies to be markedly stronger than that of late-type galaxies at all redshifts up to z ≃ 1.2. At z ∼ 0.8, early-type galaxies display a correlation length r0 = 4.8 ± 0.9 h-1 Mpc, while late types have r0 = 2.5 ± 0.4 h-1 Mpc. For the latest class of star-forming blue galaxies, we are able to push our clustering measurement to an effective redshift z ∼ 1.4, for luminous galaxies (MB(AB) ≃-21). The clustering of these objects increases up to r0 = 3.42 ± 0.7 h-1 Mpc for z = [1.2,2.0]. The relative bias between early- and late-type galaxies within our magnitude-limited survey remains approximately constant with b = 1.6 ± 0.3 from z = 0 to z = 1.2. This result is in agrement with the local findings and fairly robust against different way of classifying red and blue galaxies. When compared to the expected linear growth of mass fluctuations, a natural interpretation of these observations is that: (a) the assembly of massive early type galaxies is already mostly complete in the densest dark matter halos at z ± 1; (b) luminous late-type galaxies are located in higher-density, more clustered regions of the Universe at z ± 1.5 than their local low luminous counterpart, indicating that star formation activity is progressively increasing, going back in time, in the higher-density peaks that today are mostly dominated by old galaxies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • Evolution - cosmology
  • Large scale structure of universe - cosmology
  • Observations
  • Surveys - galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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