Interloper bias in future large-scale structure surveys [CEA]

Next-generation spectroscopic surveys will map the large-scale structure of the observable universe, using emission line galaxies as tracers. While each survey will map the sky with a specific emission line, interloping emission lines can masquerade as the survey’s intended emission line at different redshifts. Interloping lines from galaxies that are not removed can contaminate the power spectrum measurement, mixing correlations from various redshifts and diluting the true signal. We assess the potential for power spectrum contamination, finding that an interloper fraction worse than 0.2% could bias power spectrum measurements for future surveys by more than 10% of statistical errors, while also biasing inferences based on the power spectrum. We also construct a formalism for predicting biases for cosmological parameter measurements, and we demonstrate that a 0.3% interloper fraction could bias measurements of the growth rate by more than 10% of the error, which can affect constraints from upcoming surveys on gravity. We use the COSMOS Mock Catalog (CMC), with the emission lines re-scaled to better reproduce recent data, to predict potential interloper fractions for the Prime Focus Spectrograph (PFS) and the Wide-Field InfraRed Survey Telescope (WFIRST). We find that secondary line identification, or confirming galaxy redshifts by finding correlated emission lines, is able to remove interloping emission lines in PFS. For WFIRST, we use the CMC to predict that the 0.2% target can be reached for the WFIRST H$\alpha$ survey, but sensitive optical and near-infrared photometry will be required. For the WFIRST [OIII] survey, the predicted interloper fractions reach several percent and their effects will have to be estimated and removed statistically (e.g. with deep training samples). (Abridged)

Read this paper on arXiv…

A. Pullen, C. Hirata, O. Dore, et. al.
Tue, 21 Jul 15

Comments: 30 pages, 14 figures, 4 tables, will submit to PASJ, for video summary on youtube, see this https URL