Maintaining of the Eastern South Pacific Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ) off Chile Geophysical Research Letters,
Paulmier A., Ruiz-Pino D., Garçon V. and Farias L.,
Geophysical Research Letters, 33/L20601, 10.1029/2006GL026801.
Processes regulating OMZs persistence in the oxygenated ocean remain poorly understood. Four cruises (21°-30°S) and fixed-point monitoring (36°S) between 2000 and 2002 using techniques adapted to O2 conditions as low as 1 mM allow a preliminary analysis of the entire Chilean OMZ structure. A shallow OMZ is observed in the three studied areas, although its structure differs. Off northern and central Chile, the OMZ is a permanent feature, more pronounced at the coast than further offshore. On the shelf, it forms in spring and erodes in fall. A conceptual model of two intermittent active or passive phases (intense or low biogeochemical O2 consumption) is proposed as a key mechanism for the localOMZmaintaining. The highest O2 consumptions are paradoxically favoured at the oxycline when the OMZ is less intense as offshore and on the shelf in spring and fall, suggesting a control by O2 availability of the OMZ remineralization.