Lemma 56.29.1. Let $(A, \mathfrak m)$ be a regular local ring which contains a field. Let $f : V \to \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A)$ be étale and quasi-compact. Assume that $\mathfrak m \not\in f(V)$ and assume that $g : V \to \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A) \setminus \{ \mathfrak m\} $ is affine. Then $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V)$, $i > 0$ is isomorphic to a direct sum of copies of the injective hull of the residue field of $A$.

## 56.29 Affineness of complement of ramification locus

Let $f : X \to Y$ be a finite type morphism of Noetherian schemes with $X$ normal and $Y$ regular. Let $V \subset X$ be the maximal open subscheme where $f$ is étale. The discussion in [Chapter IV, Section 21.12, EGA] suggests that $V \to X$ might be an affine morphism. Observe that if $V \to X$ is affine, then we deduce purity of ramification locus (Lemma 56.28.3) by using Divisors, Lemma 31.16.4. Thus affineness of $V \to X$ is a “strong” form of purity for the ramification locus. In this section we prove $V \to X$ is affine when $X$ and $Y$ are equicharacteristic and excellent, see Theorem 56.29.3. It seems reasonable to guess the result remains true for $X$ and $Y$ of mixed characteristic (but still excellent).

**Proof.**
Denote $U = \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A) \setminus \{ \mathfrak m\} $ the punctured spectrum. Thus $g : V \to U$ is affine. We have $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V) = H^ i(U, g_*\mathcal{O}_ V)$ by Cohomology of Schemes, Lemma 30.2.4. The $\mathcal{O}_ U$-module $g_*\mathcal{O}_ V$ is quasi-coherent by Schemes, Lemma 26.24.1. For any quasi-coherent $\mathcal{O}_ U$-module $\mathcal{F}$ the cohomology $H^ i(U, \mathcal{F})$, $i > 0$ is $\mathfrak m$-power torsion, see for example Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.2.2. In particular, the $A$-modules $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V)$, $i > 0$ are $\mathfrak m$-power torsion. For any flat ring map $A \to A'$ we have $R\Gamma (V, \mathcal{O}_ V) \otimes _ A A' = H^ i(V', \mathcal{O}_{V'})$ where $V' = V \times _{\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A)} \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A')$ by flat base change Cohomology of Schemes, Lemma 30.5.2. If we take $A'$ to be the completion of $A$ (flat by More on Algebra, Section 15.42), then we see that

The first equality by the torsion property we just proved and More on Algebra, Lemma 15.82.3. Moreover, the injective hull of the residue field $k$ is the same for $A$ and $A'$, see Dualizing Complexes, Lemma 47.7.4. In this way we reduce to the case $A = k[[x_1, \ldots , x_ d]]$, see Algebra, Section 10.155.

Assume the characteristic of $k$ is $p > 0$. Since $F : A \to A$, $a \mapsto a^ p$ is flat (Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.17.6) we find $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V) \otimes _{A, F} A \cong H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V)$. Thus we get the result by Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.18.2.

Assume the characteristic of $k$ is $0$. By Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.19.3 there are additive operators $D_ j$, $j = 1, \ldots , d$ on $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V)$ satisfying the Leibniz rule with respect to $\partial _ j = \partial /\partial x_ j$. Thus we get the result by Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.18.1. $\square$

Lemma 56.29.2. In the situation of Lemma 56.29.1 assume that $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V) = 0$ for $i \geq \dim (A) - 1$. Then $V$ is affine.

**Proof.**
Let $k = A/\mathfrak m$. Since $V \times _{\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A)} \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(k) = \emptyset $, by cohomology and base change we have

See Derived Categories of Schemes, Lemma 36.21.3. Thus there is a spectral sequence (More on Algebra, Example 15.60.4)

and $d_ r^{p, q} : E_ r^{p, q} \to E_ r^{p + r, q - r + 1}$ converging to zero. By Lemma 56.29.1, Dualizing Complexes, Lemma 47.21.9, and our assumption $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V) = 0$ for $i \geq \dim (A) - 1$ we conclude that there is no nonzero differential entering or leaving the $(p, q) = (0, 0)$ spot. Thus $H^0(V, \mathcal{O}_ V) \otimes _ A k = 0$. This means that if $\mathfrak m = (x_1, \ldots , x_ d)$ then we have an open covering $V = \bigcup V \times _{\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A)} \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A_{x_ i})$ by affine open subschemes $V \times _{\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A)} \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(A_{x_ i})$ (because $V$ is affine over the punctured spectrum of $A$) such that $x_1, \ldots , x_ d$ generate the unit ideal in $\Gamma (V, \mathcal{O}_ V)$. This implies $V$ is affine by Properties, Lemma 28.27.3. $\square$

Theorem 56.29.3. Let $Y$ be an excellent regular scheme over a field. Let $f : X \to Y$ be a finite type morphism of schemes with $X$ normal. Let $V \subset X$ be the maximal open subscheme where $f$ is étale. Then the inclusion morphism $V \to X$ is affine.

**Proof.**
Let $x \in X$ with image $y \in Y$. It suffices to prove that $V \cap W$ is affine for some affine open neighbourhood $W$ of $x$. Since $\mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(\mathcal{O}_{X, x})$ is the limit of the schemes $W$, this holds if and only if

is affine (Limits, Lemma 32.4.13). Thus, if the theorem holds for the morphism $X \times _ Y \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(\mathcal{O}_{Y, y}) \to \mathop{\mathrm{Spec}}(\mathcal{O}_{Y, y})$, then the theorem holds. In particular, we may assume $Y$ is regular of finite dimension, which allows us to do induction on the dimension $d = \dim (Y)$. Combining this with the same argument again, we may assume that $Y$ is local with closed point $y$ and that $V \cap (X \setminus f^{-1}(\{ y\} ) \to X \setminus f^{-1}(\{ y\} )$ is affine.

Let $x \in X$ be a point lying over $y$. If $x \in V$, then there is nothing to prove. Observe that $f^{-1}(\{ y\} ) \cap V$ is a finite set of closed points (the fibres of an étale morphism are discrete). Thus after replacing $X$ by an affine open neighbourhood of $x$ we may assume $y \not\in f(V)$. We have to prove that $V$ is affine.

Let $e(V)$ be the maximum $i$ with $H^ i(V, \mathcal{O}_ V) \not= 0$. As $X$ is affine the integer $e(V)$ is the maximum of the numbers $e(V_ x)$ where $x \in X \setminus V$, see Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.4.6 and the characterization of cohomological dimension in Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.4.1. We have $e(V_ x) \leq \dim (\mathcal{O}_{X, x}) - 1$ by Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.4.7. If $\dim (\mathcal{O}_{X, x}) \geq 2$ then purity of ramification locus (Lemma 56.28.3) shows that $V_ x$ is strictly smaller than the punctured spectrum of $\mathcal{O}_{X, x}$. Since $\mathcal{O}_{X, x}$ is normal and excellent, this implies $e(V_ x) \leq \dim (\mathcal{O}_{X, x}) - 2$ by Hartshorne-Lichtenbaum vanishing (Local Cohomology, Lemma 51.16.7). On the other hand, since $X \to Y$ is of finite type and $V \subset X$ is dense (after possibly replacing $X$ by the closure of $V$), we see that $\dim (\mathcal{O}_{X, x}) \leq d$ by the dimension formula (Morphisms, Lemma 29.50.1). Whence $e(V) \leq \max (0, d - 2)$. Thus $V$ is affine by Lemma 56.29.2 if $d \geq 2$. If $d = 1$ or $d = 0$, then the punctured spectrum of $\mathcal{O}_{Y, y}$ is affine and hence $V$ is affine. $\square$

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