• galaxies: clusters: general;
  • cosmology: observations;
  • dark matter;
  • gravitational lensing: weak


In a recent publication, the flexion aperture mass statistic was found to provide a robust and effective method by which substructure in galaxy clusters might be mapped. Moreover, we suggested that the masses and mass profile of structures might be constrained using this method. In this paper, we apply the flexion aperture mass technique to HST ACS images of Abell 1689. We demonstrate that the flexion aperture mass statistic is sensitive to small-scale structures in the central region of the cluster. While the central potential is not constrained by our method, due largely to missing data in the central 0.5 arcmin of the cluster, we are able to place constraints on the masses and mass profiles of prominent substructures. We identify four separate mass peaks, and use the peak aperture mass signal and zero signal radius in each case to constrain the masses and mass profiles of these substructures. The three most massive peaks exhibit complex small-scale structure, and the masses indicated by the flexion aperture mass statistic suggest that these three peaks represent the dominant substructure component of the cluster (∼7 × 1014 h−1 M). Their complex structure indicates that the cluster – far from being relaxed – may have recently undergone a merger. The smaller, subsidiary peak is located coincident with a group of galaxies within the cluster, with mass ∼1 × 1014 h−1 M. These results are in excellent agreement with previous substructure studies of this cluster.