The ALPINE-ALMA [CII] survey: Survey strategy, observations, and sample properties of 118 star-forming galaxies at 4 < z < 6

O. Le Fèvre, M. Béthermin, A. Faisst, G. C. Jones, P. Capak, P. Cassata, J. D. Silverman, D. Schaerer, L. Yan, R. Amorin, S. Bardelli, M. Boquien, A. Cimatti, M. Dessauges-Zavadsky, M. Giavalisco, N. P. Hathi, Y. Fudamoto, S. Fujimoto, M. Ginolfi, C. GruppioniS. Hemmati, E. Ibar, A. Koekemoer, Y. Khusanova, G. Lagache, B. C. Lemaux, F. Loiacono, R. Maiolino, C. Mancini, D. Narayanan, L. Morselli, Hugo Méndez-Hernàndez, P. A. Oesch, F. Pozzi, M. Romano, D. Riechers, N. Scoville, M. Talia, L. A.M. Tasca, R. Thomas, S. Toft, L. Vallini, D. Vergani, F. Walter, G. Zamorani, E. Zucca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The ALMA-ALPINE [CII] survey is aimed at characterizing the properties of a sample of normal star-forming galaxies (SFGs). The ALMA Large Program to INvestigate (ALPINE) features 118 galaxies observed in the [CII]-158 μm line and far infrared (FIR) continuum emission during the period of rapid mass assembly, right after the end of the HI reionization, at redshifts of 4 < z < 6. We present the survey science goals, the observational strategy, and the sample selection of the 118 galaxies observed with ALMA, with an average beam minor axis of about 0.85″, or ∼5 kpc at the median redshift of the survey. The properties of the sample are described, including spectroscopic redshifts derived from the UV-rest frame, stellar masses, and star-formation rates obtained from a spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. The observed properties derived from the ALMA data are presented and discussed in terms of the overall detection rate in [CII] and FIR continuum, with the observed signal-to-noise distribution. The sample is representative of the SFG population in the main sequence at these redshifts. The overall detection rate in [CII] is 64% for a signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) threshold larger than 3.5 corresponding to a 95% purity (40% detection rate for S/N > 5). Based on a visual inspection of the [CII] data cubes together with the large wealth of ancillary data, we find a surprisingly wide range of galaxy types, including 40% that are mergers, 20% extended and dispersion-dominated, 13% compact, and 11% rotating discs, with the remaining 16% too faint to be classified. This diversity indicates that a wide array of physical processes must be at work at this epoch, first and foremost, those of galaxy mergers. This paper sets a reference sample for the gas distribution in normal SFGs at 4 < z < 6, a key epoch in galaxy assembly, which is ideally suited for studies with future facilities, such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs).

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA1
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1


  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: star formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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