Turbulent pressure support and hydrostatic mass bias in the intracluster medium

M. Angelinelli, F. Vazza, C. Giocoli, S. Ettori, T. W. Jones, G. Brunetti, M. Brüggen, D. Eckert

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47 Scopus citations


The degree of turbulent pressure support by residual gas motions in galaxy clusters is not well known. Mass modelling of combined X-ray and Sunyaev-Zel'dovich observations provides an estimate of turbulent pressure support in the outer regions of several galaxy clusters. Here, we test two different filtering techniques to disentangle bulk from turbulent motions in non-radiative high-resolution cosmological simulations of galaxy clusters using the cosmological hydrocode ENZO. We find that the radial behaviour of the ratio of non-thermal pressure to total gas pressure as a function of cluster-centric distance can be described by a simple polynomial function. The typical non-thermal pressure support in the centre of clusters is ∼5 per cent, increasing to ∼15 per cent in the outskirts, in line with the pressure excess found in recent X-ray observations. While the complex dynamics of the intracluster medium makes it impossible to reconstruct a simple correlation between turbulent motions and hydrostatic bias, we find that a relation between them can be established using the median properties of a sample of objects. Moreover, we estimate the contribution of radial accelerations to the non-thermal pressure support and conclude that it decreases moving outwards from 40 per cent (in the core) to 15 per cent (in the cluster's outskirts). Adding this contribution to one provided by turbulence, we show that it might account for the entire observed hydrostatic bias in the innermost regions of the clusters, and for less than 80 per cent of it at r > 0.8 r200m.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)864-885
Number of pages22
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s)


  • Galaxies: clusters: general
  • Galaxies: clusters: intracluster medium
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Large-scale structure of Universe
  • Methods: numerical
  • Turbulence


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