Heavy element abundances derived for QSO absorption line systems at 2 < z < 4 are used to predict the z dependence of [D/H] in the same systems. The scatter in the heavy element abundances, and the fact that these are actually upper limits, lead us to conclude that a constant value of [D/H] is not expected. Furthermore, the small region actually sampled in the QSO beam may prohibit the necessary averaging over a entire galaxy to see a direct correlation between astration of deuterium and production of heavy elements. These considerations may help resolve the apparent range of a factor of 5 or more found in [D/H] at 2 < z < 5 by different groups studying different systems.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #188
- Pub Date:
- May 1996