COPAS Center
  1. To improve the understanding of the dynamics of tropical/subtropical large-scale variability and local processes, and their effect on present and past biogeochemistry, circulation and ecology of the eastern South Pacific
  2. To improve our understanding of the structure and functioning of the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ) in the eastern South Pacific, how it can be affected by global change, and how it may impact the climate system
  3. To contribute to the knowledge of circulation, water masses and large-scale processes off southern Chile, and the effects of their variability on present and past biological productivity and biogeochemical cycling in the ESP, including the fjords system

The main scientific objectives for 2007-2012 are based on the original three inter-related scientific questions/themes that provided the theoretical and operational framework for COPAS' initial studies (i.e. impact of ENSO and other large-scale phenomena in the ESP;   structure and function of the OMZ; the role of AAIW on the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the ESP and how is this role modified by climate change).  The scientific knowledge gained in Phase I (2002-2007) is considered as a solid background over which much deeper scientific knowledge will be achieved. In Phase II (2007-2012), a greater emphasis will be devoted to a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of processes and their corresponding underlying mechanisms, and the impact of oceanographic and climatic variability on present and past circulation, biogeochemical cycling, ecology and diversity of the ESP.  A more holistic view of ecosystem functioning is certainly a major challenge which we expect to address by using synthesis and modeling tools.

The three main themes are being addressed from a multidisciplinary and synergistic point of view through six research programs (RP). Integrated efforts among Research Programs include:

  • Time Series Study off Concepción
  • Moorings
  • Joint Experiments and cruises
  • Process-oriented integrated Cruises
  • Workshops
  • Inter-RP Publications
  • Inter-RP presentations at national and international congresses
  • Multi-disciplinary TOPAS course