It is self-evident that a better understanding of large- and small-scale Andean geological features and timeline can make a difference in exploration, especially in terms of duration and costs. In other words: the better the geological knowledge in the Andes, the easier it should be to discover and develop ore deposits of economic interest.
Knowledge of the Andean evolution continues however to be plagued by geological myths and obsolete concepts (such as “compressional tectonic phases” or “ocean-continent collision”), while major key features of this evolution remain underrated. Because they rely little on experiments but mainly on interpretations, narratives, and sometimes rhetorics and sociological situations, the Earth sciences form a field where traditional paradigms have never been easy to challenge, and even less to change. Andean geology makes no exception.
Yet research on the general geology of Peru has been fruitful during the last two decades, bringing about many new and unexpected observations and data, which have considerably challenged previously authoritative interpretations. These advances now make that we are reaching a state of knowledge where the diverse pieces of the geological puzzle are falling into place. Although this information remains partly unpublished, this talk will review the main progresses made about the geology of Peru in the course of the last decade.
This talk aims (1) at highlighting updated aspects of the tectonic, stratigraphic, magmatic, structural, and chronological record; (2) at showing how the new interpretations are mutually consistent and combine fruitfully; and (3) at suggesting how they could be assembled and used when conducting mineral exploration in Peru. “Getting the geology right” – conceptually speaking – is simply crucial in mineral and oil exploration, as it considerably increases the chances of success, and decreases costs and risks.