The eastern South Pacific Ocean is IMO’s main object of study because it has sharp hydrographic, biochemical and ecological gradients, ranging from extremely productive waters in the Humboldt Current to highly oligotrophic waters in the Subtropical Gyre.
Additionally, in the last decade, the scientific community has acquired an important understanding of the structure and functioning of the Humboldt Current. However, little is known about the vast region of oceanic waters and about the mesoscale activity connecting contrasting environments. At IMO we want to focus part of our research on this oceanic zone.
It is clear that the dynamics of the eastern South Pacific have a global impact because it is a region where important Antarctic Intermediate Waters are formed. It has strong atmospheric-oceanic connections and coastal-ocean exchanges with the equatorial ocean and contains one of the world’s largest oxygen minimum zones (OMZs).
The peculiarities of the ecosystems in the eastern South Pacific make them natural laboratories for the study of the functioning of the ocean and for the prediction of the way in which ecosystems could react to future global changes. These studies will provide the basis for the management and conservation of the unique ecosystems in this oceanic region.