The Galactic Thick Disk Stellar Abundances

Jason X. Prochaska, Sergei O. Naumov, Bruce W. Carney, Andrew McWilliam, Arthur M. Wolfe
2000 Astronomical Journal  
We present first results from a program to measure the chemical abundances of a large (N>30) sample of thick disk stars with the principal goal of investigating the formation history of the Galactic thick disk. Our analysis confirms previous studies of O and Mg in the thick disk stars which reported enhancements in excess of the thin disk population. Furthermore, the observations of Si, Ca, Ti, Mn, Co, V, Zn, Al, and Eu all argue that the thick disk population has a distinct chemical history
more » ... m the thin disk. With the exception of V and Co, the thick disk abundance patterns match or tend towards the values observed for halo stars with [Fe/H]~-1. This suggests that the thick disk stars had a chemical enrichment history similar to the metal-rich halo stars. With the possible exception of Si, the thick disk abundance patterns are in excellent agreement with the chemical abundances observed in the metal-poor bulge stars suggesting the two populations formed from the same gas reservoir at a common epoch. We discuss the implications for the formation of the thick disk, new insights presented for theories of nucleosynthesis, and the impact on interpretations of the abundance patterns of the damped Lya systems at high redshift. [significantly abridged]
doi:10.1086/316818 fatcat:drtszjom6rbt3jz2wumhdfbpvu