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About the Site
An Important Force
The rotation of the Earth, combined with the winds that end to blow toward the equator and offshore along the west coast of South America, pushes coastal surface water toward the open ocean and away from the land. Consequently, cold water is drawn up from the oceans depths to replace the warmer displaced surface water. This process is referred to as coastal upwelling. Coastal upwelling processes create regions in the ocean that are biologically highly productive. These condition are favorable to both living things in the ocean and the farmers in the surrounding area.
These cold upwelling contain a copious supply of inorganic nutrients. The upwelling of ocean water brings chemicals into the sunlit layer of the ocean. They are converted to nutrients through photosynthesis for phytoplankton at the bottom of the food chain. The plants are eaten by zooplankton and fish populations, many of which are then consumed by guano birds. These guano birds live off anchoveta, a fish about 17 cm long.
The fish, in turn, support large sea-bird populations, the primary producers for the once flourishing guano fertilizer industry. As the planktons die, however, they sink down into the deeper, colder water where they decay and replenish the nutrient supply.
Coastal upwelling regions from around the globe make up about 0.1% of the oceans surface area but provide more than 40% of all the commercial fish captured globally. The cold water, upwelling along the coast, tends to suppress rain-producing processes in the atmosphere and, as a result, upwelling regions are usually found next to coastal borders.