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, classical and innovative dating 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, and we develop numerical models coupling landscape evolution and weathering,
This center has been initiated by the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). It has the structure of a “virtual laboratory”, with directors, executive committee, researchers and technicians belonging to different Chilean, Peruvian, and French institutions. It is supported by these institutions and industry. Its center of gravity is located at UCN, Antofagasta.