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Physics and Astronomy


We study projected underdensities in the cosmic galaxy density field known as 'troughs', and their overdense counterparts, which we call 'ridges'. We identify these regions using a bright sample of foreground galaxies from the photometric Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS), specifically selected to mimic the spectroscopic Galaxy And Mass Assembly survey. Using background galaxies from KiDS, we measure the weak gravitational lensing profiles of the troughs/ridges. We quantify the amplitude of their lensing strength A as a function of galaxy density percentile rank P and galaxy overdensity δ, and find that the skewness in the galaxy density distribution is reflected in the total mass distribution measured by weak lensing. We interpret our results using the mock galaxy catalogue from the Marenostrum Institut de Ciències de l'Espai (MICE) simulation, and find a good agreement with our observations. Using signal-to-noise weights derived from the Scinet LIghtCone Simulations (SLICS) mock catalogue we optimally stack the lensing signal of KiDS troughs with an angular radius θA = (5, 10, 15, 20) arcmin, resulting in (16.8, 14.9, 10.13, 7.55) σ detections. Finally, we select troughs using a volume-limited sample of galaxies, split into two redshift bins between 0.1 < z < 0.3. For troughs/ridges with transverse comoving radius RA = 1.9 h 70-1 Mpc, we find no significant difference in the comoving excess surface density as a function of P and δ between the low- and high-redshift sample. Using the MICE and SLICS mocks we predict that trough and ridge evolution could be detected with gravitational lensing using deeper and wider lensing surveys, such as those from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope and Euclid.