What is the role of mesoscale activity on regulating energy-matter transfer and on the dynamics of ecosystems in oceanic waters?
How do large-scale perturbations affect transport and the physical-chemical properties of waters and the dynamics of the southeastern Pacific?
How do key functional groups of plankton adapt to chemical changes in oceans and how does this affect biochemical cycles?
What are the structures of communities and the biogeochemical characteristics of deep and abyssal waters of the southeastern Pacific?
The southeastern Pacific Ocean (SEP) is a principal interest given that it presents sharp hydrographic, biochemical and ecological gradients, from the highly productive waters of the Humboldt Current to oligotrophic waters of the Subtropical Gyre.
An important understanding has been achieved in the last decade of the structure and functioning of the Humboldt Current system. Nevertheless, little is known about the vast region of oceanic waters and of mesoscale activity that connects these contrasting environments. We at the Millennium Oceanography Institute want to focus part of our research on this area of the ocean.
It is clear that the dynamics of the southeastern Pacific have a global impact for its being a region where important intermediate Antarctic are formed, for its having strong atmospheric-oceanic connections with the equatorial ocean and coastal-ocean exchanges, and for containing one of the main minimum oxygen zones (OMZ) in the world’s oceans.
The particularities of the southeastern Pacific transform it into a natural laboratory to study the functioning of the ocean and predict how ecosystems can respond to future global change. These studies represent the basis on which to plan the management-conservation of the unique ecosystems in this oceanic region.