Current measurements indicate that the deuterium abundance in diffuse interstellar gas varies spatially by a factor of ~4 among sightlines extending beyond the Local Bubble. One plausible explanation for the scatter is the variable depletion of D onto dust grains. To test this scenario, we have obtained high signal-to-noise, high resolution profiles of the refractory ion Ti II along seven Galactic sightlines with D/H ranging from 0.65 to 2.1 × 10−5. These measurements, acquired with the recently upgraded Keck/HIRES spectrometer, indicate a correlation between Ti/H and D/H at the > 95% c.l. Therefore, our observations support the interpretation that D/H scatter is associated with differential depletion. We note, however, that Ti/H values taken from the literature do not uniformly show the correlation. Finally, we identify significant component-to-component variations in the depletion levels among individual sightlines and discuss complications arising from this behavior.
Prochaska, Jason X.; Tripp, Todd M.; and Howk, Christopher, "Evidence for Correlated Titanium and Deuterium Depletion in the Galactic ISM" (2004). Astronomy Department Faculty Publication Series. 30.