Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 456, 831-843 (2016/February-2)
The integrated calcium II triplet as a metallicity indicator: comparisons with high-resolution [Fe/H] in M31 globular clusters.
SAKARI C.M. and WALLERSTEIN G.
Abstract (from CDS):
Medium resolution (R = 4000-9000) spectra of the near infrared CaII lines (at 8498, 8542, and 8662 Å) in M31 globular cluster (GC) integrated light spectra are presented. In individual stars the CaII triplet (CaT) traces stellar metallicity; this paper compares integrated CaT strengths to well determined, high-precision [Fe/H] values from high-resolution integrated light spectra. The target GCs cover a wide range in metallicity (from [Fe/H] ∼ -2.1 to -0.2). While most are older than ∼ 10 Gyr, some may be of intermediate age (2-6 Gyr). A handful (3-6) have detailed abundances (e.g. low [Ca/Fe]) that indicate they may have been accreted from dwarf galaxies. Using various measurements and definitions of CaT strength, it is confirmed that for GCs with [Fe/H] ≲ -0.4 and older than ∼ 2 Gyr the integrated CaT traces cluster [Fe/H] to within ∼ 0.2 dex, independent of age. CaT lines in metal-rich GCs are very sensitive to nearby atomic lines (and TiO molecular lines in the most metal-rich GCs), largely due to line blanketing in continuum regions. The [Ca/Fe] ratio has a mild effect on the integrated CaT strength in metal poor GCs. The integrated CaT can therefore be safely used to determine rough metallicities for distant, unresolved clusters, provided that attention is paid to the limits of the measurement techniques.