The Cl 1604 supercluster at z ~ 0.9 is one of the most extensively studied high-redshift large-scale structures, with more than 500 spectroscopically confirmed members. It consists of eight clusters and groups, with members numbering from a dozen to nearly a hundred, providing a broad range of environments for investigating the large-scale environmental effects on galaxy evolution. Here we examine the properties of 48 post-starburst galaxies in Cl 1604, comparing them to other galaxy populations in the same supercluster. Incorporating photometry from ground-based optical and near-infrared imaging, along with Spitzer mid-infrared observations, we derive stellar masses for all Cl 1604 members. The colors and stellar masses of the K+A galaxies support the idea that they are progenitors of red sequence galaxies. Their morphologies, residual star formation rates, and spatial distributions suggest that galaxy mergers may be the principal mechanism producing post-starburst galaxies. Interaction between galaxies and the dense intracluster medium (ICM) is also effective, but only in the cores of dynamically evolved clusters. The prevalence of post-starburst galaxies in clusters correlates with the dynamical state of the host cluster, as both galaxy mergers and the dense ICM produce post-starburst galaxies. We also investigate the incompleteness and contamination of K+A samples selected by means of Hδ and [O II] equivalent widths. K+A samples may be up to ~50% incomplete due to the presence of LINERs/Seyferts, and up to ~30% of K+A galaxies could have substantial star formation activity.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in The Astrophysical Journal , v. 792, no. 1, article 16, p. 1-19.

© 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Reproduced by permission of the AAS.

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Funding Information

Support for Program number HST-GO-11003 was provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. We acknowledge support by the National Science Foundation under grant AST-0907858. This work is also based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Support for this work was provided by NASA through an award issued by JPL/Caltech. The spectrographic data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. Near-IR data were taken with the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope, operated by the Joint Astronomy Centre on behalf of the Science and Technology Facilities Council of the U.K. As always, we thank the indigenous Hawaiian community for allowing us to be guests on their sacred mountain. We are most fortunate to be able to conduct observations from this site.

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