|Humboldt Current (hŭm'bōlt') Pronunciation Key
A cold ocean current of the South Pacific, flowing north along the western coast of South America from Chile to Peru. Extending up to 1,000 km (620 mi) offshore, the Humboldt Current results in significant cooling of the marine environment and influences the weather pattern that makes this section of coast one of the driest regions in the world. The current is also the world's largest upwelling current, bringing cold, nutrient-rich waters to the surface and creating an ecosystem abundant in plankton, fish, and other marine life. It is named after Baron Alexander von Humboldt, who explored this coast in 1802. Also called Peru current.