Maximilien Mathian (Post-doc)

Characterization and dating of Malawian weathering surfaces (TOTAL project)

This post-doctoral project, is focused on the identification of the past tropical events that affected the eastern part of southern Africa since the Mesozoic. In this purpose, duricrusts and loose laterites from the different Malawian topographic levels were sampled and will be dated using respectively (U-Th)/He dating of hematite and goethite and RPE dating of kaolinites. In parallel, mass balance calculations will be performed on the dated samples. This study will allow to obtain a better understanding of the mechanisms at the basis of the formation of the several types of southern African weathering surfaces (latosol stricto sensu, quartz-rich duricrust/ massive duricrusts, kaolinitised saprolites,…) and to validate the ages of the already identified geomorphologic surfaces of this part of Africa.

Short CV

2015-2018: Ph.D. and teaching assistant position at the IMPMC (Sorbonne Université)-Unraveling paleoclimatic events in laterites using the Electron Paramagnetic Resonance dating methodology on kaolinites.

September 2015: Research Officer at the IC2MP (University of Poitiers)- Semi-Quantification of the kaolinite/smectite ratio of Nil organic and inorganic rich sediments.

February-July 2015: Master Degree Thesis at the IC2MP (University of Poitiers)- Characterization of the Ity gold mine lateritic saprolite and development of a NIR-based semi-quantitative methodology.

March-June 2014: Research assistant at the CSIRO (ARRC, Perth)-Testing and improvement of the classical iron ores characterization analytical toolset.

2014-2015: M. Sc. in Clay Science (Master National Argiles), with honors (1st), University of Poitiers, France

June 2013: Bachelor thesis at the IC2MP (University of Poitiers)- Impact of pH on the crystallization of the lizardite-nepuite and talc-kerolite series: a synthesis approach.

Publications :

Mathian, M., Aufort, J., Braun, J.J., Riotte, J., Selo, M., Balan, E., Fritsch, E., Bhattacharya, S., Allard, T., Unraveling weathering episodes in Tertiary regoliths by kaolinite dating (Western Ghats, India), Gondwana Research, vol. 69, pp. 89-105

Allard, T., Beaufort, D., Mathian, M., Morichon, E., Uri, F., Quirt, D., Radioactivity recorded by clay minerals in the Shea Creek area, Athabasca Basin (Canada): implications for uranium transfers and exploration, Journal of Geochemical exploration, vol. 188, pp. 340-349.

Mathian, M., Hebert, B., Baron, F., Petit, S., Lescuyer, J.L., Furic, R., Beaufort, D., Identifying the phyllosilicate minerals of hypogene ore deposits in lateritic saprolites using the near IR spectroscopy second derivative methodology, 2018, Journal of Geochemical exploration, vol. 186, pp. 298-314.

Murat, A., Beaufort, D., Hebert, B., Baudin, F., Bernasconi, S., Ducassou, E., Lelievre, C., Poizot, E., Mathian, M., Grauby, O., Post-depositional evolution over a time scale of 1 million years of eastern Mediterranean organic-rich and organic poor sediments: new insights on the debromination and layer silicate markers, 2017, Bulletin de la Société Geologique de France, vol. 188 (4) 21.

Oral communication:

Mathian, M., Aufort, J., Braun, J.J., Riotte, J., Selo, M., Balan, E., Fritsch, E., Bhattacharya, S., Allard, T, EPR dating of Indian regoliths (Karnataka Plateau): Record of the Asiatic monsoon evolution, 55th annual meeting of the Clay Minerals Society, Urbana Champaign (Illinois, USA), 2018

Mathian, M., Aufort, J., Allard, T., Fritsch, E., Riotte, J., Braun, J.J., Dating Western Ghâts (India)

laterite from radiation-induced defects of kaolinite, RST, Caen (France), 2016

Ramanaidou, R., Nguyen, J., Mathian, M., Carey, R., Honey, F., Goddey, N., Wells, M., Total iron ore characterisation by combining hyperspectral imaging, Raman spectroscopy and x-ray fluorescence mapping, IMA 2014 Johannesburg, South Africa, 2014.


Mathian, M., Allard, T., Fritsch, E., Riotte, J., Braun, J.J., Soil evolution through climate changes : insights from the EPR dating of Western Ghâts (India) laterites, Goldschmidt 2017, Paris (France), 2017

Mathian, M., Allard, T., Riotte, J., Braun, J.J., Datations des latérites des Ghâts (Inde de l’ouest) à l’aide des défauts d’irradiation des kaolinites, 14ème colloque du GFA, Poitiers (France), 2016

Mathian, M., Beaufort, D., Lescuyer, J.L., Furic, R., Etude des minéraux argileux du Mont Ity (Côte d’Ivoire) et caractérisation des différents faciès argileux par spectrométrie infrarouge, 13ème colloque du GFA, Clermont-Ferrand (France), 2015