Disk galaxy scaling relations at intermediate redshifts - I. The Tully-Fisher and velocity-size relations
Galaxy scaling relations such as the Tully-Fisher relation (between maximum rotation velocity Vmax and luminosity) and the velocity-size relation (between Vmax and disk scale length) are powerful tools to quantify the evolution of disk galaxies with cosmic time. We took spatially resolved slit spectra of 261 field disk galaxies at redshifts up to z~1 using the FORS instruments of the ESO Very Large Telescope. The targets were selected from the FORS Deep Field and William Herschel Deep Field. Our spectroscopy was complemented with HST/ACS imaging in the F814W filter. We analyzed the ionized gas kinematics by extracting rotation curves from the 2-D spectra. Taking into account all geometrical, observational and instrumental effects, these rotation curves were used to derive the intrinsic Vmax. Neglecting galaxies with disturbed kinematics or insufficient spatial rotation curve extent, Vmax could be determined for 137 galaxies covering redshifts 0.05<z<0.97. This is one of the largest kinematic samples of distant disk galaxies to date. We compared this data set to the local B-band Tully-Fisher relation and the local velocity-size relation. The scatter in both scaling relations is a factor of ~2 larger at z~0.5 than at z~0. The deviations of individual distant galaxies from the local Tully-Fisher relation are systematic in the sense that the galaxies are increasingly overluminous towards higher redshifts, corresponding to an over-luminosity Delta_MB=-(1.1+-0.5) mag at z=1. This luminosity evolution at given Vmax is probably driven by younger stellar populations of distant galaxies with respect to their local counterparts. The analysis of the velocity-size relation reveals that disk galaxies of a given Vmax have grown in size by a factor of ~1.5 over the past ~8 Gyr, likely via accretion of cold gas and/or small satellites.