Gas-rich galaxy mergers provide a means to funnel gas into the central region of the system, consequently triggering episodes of nuclear star formation and supermassive black holes growth. The details of the fueling and feedback are often obscured by the cocooning dust stirred up from the violent interaction. To probe the small-scale gas kinematics in the inner kiloparsec region of these local luminous infrared galaxies requires high spatial resolution observations of their nuclei. Here I present results from our Keck OSIRIS AO LIRGs Analysis (KOALA) survey, which features a near-infrared perspective of the gas in the nuclear regions in local infrared-luminous galaxy mergers. Our findings characterized and addressed the nature of nuclear disks, outflows driven by AGN and starbursts, as well as the role of mergers in black hole-galaxy bulge scaling relations. Our observations further enabled several case studies showing direct evidence of biconical molecular outflows as well as shocked gas from winds and ISM collision between progenitor galaxies.
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