Joint research laboratory on geomorphological control of supergene copper

COPEDIM is an international research group focusing on the development of geological erosion surfaces (pediments) in the Andes and on associated supergene concentration of some metals like copper by weathering processes. Its objectives are improving knowledge of fundamental processes and training students and professionals about the geomorphological control of supergene copper enrichment.

How and when did erosion and weathering surfaces develop in mountain ranges is a crucial issue  to reconstruct  climatic and tectonic changes through geological times. Understanding the paleo-environmental conditions required to concentrate copper is fundamental to improve prospection models, in particular below gravel. Our goal is to understand and quantify  the optimum paleo- uplift, erosion and climate conditions leading to supergene copper enrichment.

We carry out researches based on field works, mostly in northern Chile and southern Perú, innovative datings of copper bearing minerals, thermochronology to reconstruct the exhumation history of ore deposits,  new applications of cosmogenic nuclides to date exotic deposits and to characterize their paleoenvironment, magnetic and geochemical signatures of exotic copper bearing sediment, and we develop numerical and experimental models to study  landscape evolution and weathering.

This center has been initiated by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the Universidad Católica del Norte (UCN). It has the structure of a “virtual laboratory”, with directors, executive committee, researchers and technicians belonging to different Chilean, Peruvian,  and French institutions and dedicating part of their time to COPEDIM. It is supported by these institutions and industry. Its center of gravity is located at UCN, Antofagasta.


Stéphanie Brichau co-director of COPEDIM

Stéphanie Brichau succeeds Sébastien Carretier as co-director of COPEDIM for 2022, led by Rodrigo Riquelme from the UCN. She is a IRD researcher from the GET laboratory in Toulouse. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Chile for the past 2 years. Stéphanie Brichau has just obtained funding for a Fondecyt project […]

Successes of COPEDIM members

Several COPEDIM members have won project funding in recent Chilean and French 2021 calls: A Fondecyt Regular project, Earth Science, led by Stéphanie Brichau, IRD, GET and Universidad de Chile A Fondecyt Regular project, Earth Science, led by Germán Aguilar, AMTC, Universidad de Chile A Fondecyt Regular project, Earth Science, led by Rodrigo Riquelme, Universidad […]


PhD defense of Steven Kahou

Steven Kahou, a PhD student of the GET,  defended his PhD of the University Toulouse III  at GET last Friday. The PhD was entitled “Petrogeochemical characterization of supergene copper mineralization in Atacama (Northern Chile): U-Pb chronometric potential and formation conditions” and was supervised by Stéphanie Brichau (IRD-GET) and Stéphanie Duchêne (UT III-GET) in collaboration with […]

PhD defense of Valeria Zavala

Valeria Zavala, a PhD student of the GET,  defended her PhD of the University Toulouse III  at GET the 19th of June. The PhD was entitled “Geomorphological evolution of coupled mountain-piedmont systems: numerical and experimental modelling of climate impact and study of the incision of the western Andean piedmont (Chiza and Tana canyons, Chile)” and supervised […]

HDR defense of Stephanie Brichau

Stephanie Brichau defended her “habilitation à diriger la recherche” (the highest university degree in French system) at GET. The HDR is a kind of review and a prospective of what a researcher has done after his PhD, on the form of a manuscript and a defense. The HDR committee was composed of Laurent Jolivet, Delphine […]