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Directeur de recherche CNRS

Tel : (33) 3 83 59 42 44 ; Fax : (33) 3 83 51 17 98 ; Mobile : (33) 6 24 81 52 03

e-mail Raphaël Pik

Recherche / Research Interests

  • Noble gas geochemistry. Igneous petrology and geochemistry
  • Origin and nature of mantle sources involved in the generation of Continental Flood Basalts. Research aspect focused on the Ethiopian volcanic province
  • Volcanic and tectonic evolutions in rifted areas : implications of plume impingement on rift evolution and localisation, volcano-tectonic chronological relationships, rates of rift flanks uplift. Research aspects based on low temperature (U+Th)/He thermochronology and surface exposure datings (cosmogenic 3He). Targets : East African Rift and Rhine Graben
  • Uplift and Erosion rates of Himalaya : thermochronology and cosmogenic datings
  • Nature and origin of dissolved noble gas in groundwater : hydrodynamic implications, recharge paleo-temperatures, tectonic implications. Targets : Albian aquifer in the Paris Basin, geothermal fluids from Mediterranean areas


  • 1993-1997 : Ph-D thesis at CEREGE, Univ-Aix-Marseille III. Dir. C. Coulon. Pétrologie et Géochimie des trapps d’Ethiopie un exemple d’interactions panache lithosphere.
  • 1997-1998 : Post-doc at CRPG Nancy, financial support EC. Mantle and Crustal flux in seismic zones. Evidence from Helium isotopes.
  • 1998- present : CNRS researcher at CRPG, Nancy.
  • 2015- 2020 Directeur du CRPG



Ayalew, D., Getaneh, W., Pik, R., Atnafu, B., Zemelak, A., & Belay, E. (2021). Stratigraphic framework of the northeastern part of the Ethiopian flood basalt province. Bulletin of Volcanology, 83(57).
Charreau, J., Lavé, J., France-Lanord, C., Puchol, N., Blard, P. H., Pik, R., et al. (2021). A 6 Ma record of palaeodenudation in the central Himalayas from in situ cosmogenic 10 Be in the Surai section. Basin Research, , 1–22.
Girault, J. B., Bellahsen, N., Benet, M., Pik, R., Loget, N., Lasseur, E., et al. (2021). Exhumation of the Western Alpine collisional wedge : New thermochronological data. Tectonophysics, 822, 229155.
Litty, C., Charreau, J., Blard, P. H., Pik, R., & Nomade, S. (2021). Spatial variability of Quaternary denudation rates across a volcanic ocean island (Santo Antão, Cape Verde) from cosmogenic 3He. Geomorphology, 375, 107557.
Moynier, F., Jackson, M. G., Zhang, K., Cai, H., Halldorsson, S. A., Pik, R., et al. (2021). The mercury isotopic composition of Earth’s mantle and the Use of mass independently fractionated Hg to test for recycled crust. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL094301.
Waldner, M., Bellahsen, N., Mouthereau, F., Bernet, M., Pik, R., Rosenberg, C. L., et al. (2021). Central Pyrenees Mountain building : Constraints from new LT thermochronological data from the Axial Zone. Tectonics, 40(3), e2020TC006614.


Ayalew, D., Pik, R., Gibson, S., Yirgu, G., Ali, S., & Assefa, D. (2020). Pedogenic origin of Mezezo opal hosted in Ethiopian Miocene rhyolites. The Canadian Mineralogist, 58, 231–246.


Bastian, L., Vigier, N., Revel, M., Yirgu, G., Ayalew, D., & Pik, R. (2019). Chemical erosion rates in the upper Blue Nile Basin and related atmospheric CO2 consumption. Chemical Geology, 518, 19–31.
Bellahsen, N., Bayet, L., Denele, Y., Waldner, M., Airaghi, L., Rosenberg, C., et al. (2019). Shortening of the axial zone, Pyrenees : Shortening sequence,upper crustal mylonites and crustal strength. Tectonophysics, 766, 433–452.
DeFelipe, I., Pedreira, D., Pulgar, J. A., Van der Beek, P., Bernet, M., & Pik, R. (2019). Unraveling the Mesozoic and Cenozoic Tectonothermal Evolution of the Eastern Basque‐Cantabrian Zone–Western Pyrenees by Low‐Temperature Thermochronology. Tectonics, 38(9), 3436–3461.
Deng, Z., Chaussidon, M., Savage, P., Robert, F., Pik, R., & Moynier, F. (2019). Titanium isotopes as a tracer for the plume or island arc affinity of felsic rocks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 116(4), 1132–1135.
Gautheron, C., Mbongo Djimbi, D., Roques, J., Balout, H., Ketcham, R. A., Simoni, E., et al. (2019). A multi-method, multi-scale theoretical study of He and Ne diffusion in zircon. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 268, 348–367.
Ternois, S., Odlum, M., Ford, M., Pik, R., Stockli, D., Tibari, B., et al. (2019). Thermochronological evidence of early orogenesis,Eastern Pyrenees, France. Tectonics, 38, 1308–1336.


Ayalew, D., Pik, R., Bellahsen, N., France, L., & Yirgu, G. (2018). Differential fractionation of rhyolites during the course of crustal extension, Western Afar (Ethiopian Rift). Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems G3, 20(2), 571–593.
Jolivet, L., Menant, A., Clerc, C., Sternai, P., Bellahsen, N., Leroy, S., et al. (2018). Extensional crustal tectonics and crust-mantle coupling, a view from the geological record. Earth-Science Reviews, 185, 1187–1209.
Le Gall, B., Leleu, S., Pik, R., Jourdan, F., Chazot, G., Ayalew, D., et al. (2018). The Red Beds series in the Erta Ale segment, North Afar. Evidence for a 6 Ma-old post-rift basin prior to continental rupturing. Tectonophysics, 747-748, 373–389.
Liu-Zeng, J., Zhang, J., McPhillips, D., Reiners, P., Wang, W., Pik, R., et al. (2018). Multiple episodes of fast exhumation since Cretaceous in southeast Tibet, revealed by low-temperature thermochronology. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 490, 62–76.
Montel, J. M., Razafimahatratra, D., de Perseval, P., Poitrasson, F., Moine, B., Seydoux-Guillaume, A. M., et al. (2018). The giant monazite crystals from Manangotry (Madagascar). Chemical Geology, 484, 36–50.
Tadesse, A. Z., Ayalew, D., Pik, R., Yirgu, G., & Fontijn, K. (2018). Magmatic evolution of the Boku Volcanic Complex, Main Ethiopian Rift. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 149, 109–130.


Puchol, N., Blard, P. H., Pik, R., Tibari, B., & Lavé, J. (2017). Variability of magmatic and cosmogenic 3 He in Ethiopian river sands of detrital pyroxenes: Impact on denudation rate determinations. Chemical Geology, 448, 13–25.
Puchol, N., Charreau, J., Blard, P. H., Lavé, J., Dominguez, S., Pik, R., et al. (2017). Limited impact of Quaternary glaciations on denudation rates in Central Asia. GSA Bulletin, 129(3-4), 479–499.
Vacherat, A., Mouthereau, F., Pik, R., Huyghe, P., Paquette, J. L., Christophoul, F., et al. (2017). Rift-to-collision sediment routing in the Pyrenees : A synthesis from sedimentological, geochronological and kinematic constraints. Earth-Science Reviews, 172, 43–74.


Bot, A., Geoffroy, C., Authemayou, C., Bellon, H., Grandorge, D., & Pik, R. (2016). Miocene detachment faulting predating EPR propagation, Baja California Sur. Tectonics, 35, 1153–1176.
Boutoux, A., Bellahsen, N., Nanni, U., Pik, R., Verlaguet, A., Rolland, Y., et al. (2016). Thermal and structural evolution of the external Western Alps: insights from (U-Th-Sm)/He thermochronology and RSCM thermometry in the Aiguilles Rouges/Mont Blanc massifs. Tectonophysics, 686, 109–123.
Medynski, S., Pik, R., Burnard, P., Dumont, S., Grandin, R., Williams, A., et al. (2016). Magmatic cycles pace tectonic and morphological expression of rifting (Afar depression, Ethiopia). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 446, 77–88.
Stab, M., Bellahsen, N., Pik, R., Quidelleur, X., Ayalew, D., & Leroy, S. (2016). Mode of rifting in magma-rich settings: Tectono-magmatic evolution of Central Afar. Tectonics, 35, 2–38.
Tibari, B., Vacherat, A., Stab, M., Pik, R., Yeghicheyan, D., & Hild, P. (2016). An Alternative Protocol for Single Zircon Dissolution with Application to (U-Th-Sm)/He Thermochronometry. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, .
Vacherat, A., Mouthereau, F., Pik, R., Bellahsen, N., Gautheron, C., Bernet, M., et al. (2016). Rift-to-collision transition recorded by tectono-thermal evolution of the northern Pyrenees. Tectonics, 35, 907–933.


Blard, P. H., Balco, G., Burnard, P. G., Farley, K., Fenton, C. R., Friedrich, R., et al. (2015). An inter-laboratory comparison of cosmogenic 3 He and radiogenic 4 He in the CRONUS-P pyroxene standard. Quaternary Geochronology, 26, 11–19.
Liu, L., Li, S., Huang, X., Lu, Y., Chen, K., Pik, R., et al. (2015). Detection of trace-level uranium and samarium in glasses by combined laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and plasma-induced fluorescence spectroscopy. Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 30, 1128–1132.
Medynski, S., Pik, R., Burnard, P., Vye-Brown, C., France, L., Schimmelpfennig, I., et al. (2015). Stability of rift axis magma reservoirs: Spatial and temporal evolution of magma supply in the Dabbahu rift segment (Afar, Ethiopia) over the past 30 kyr. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 409, 278–289.
Xiao, Y., Liu, J., Wang, W., Zeng, L. S., Xie, K. J., Pik, R., et al. (2015). The thermal history of the Baimaxueshan pluton in Deqin area and its implications for the tectonic-geomorphic evolution in the Three River Region of Tibetan Plateau. Acta Sinica Petrologica, 31, 1348–1360.


Mouthereau, F., Filleaudeau, P. Y., Vacherat, A., Pik, R., Lacombe, O., Fellini, M. G., et al. (2014). Placing limits to shortening evolution in the Pyrenees: role of margin architecture and implications for the Iberia/Europe convergence. Tectonics, 33, 2283–2314.
Vacherat, A., Mouthereau, F., Pik, R., Bernet, M., Gautheron, C., Masini, E., et al. (2014). Thermal imprint of rift-related processes in orogens as recorded in the Pyrenees. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 408, 296–306.


Bellahsen, N., Leroy, S., Autin, J., Razin, P., d'Acremont, E., Sloan, H., et al. (2013). Pre-existing oblique transfer zones and transfer/transform relationships in continental margins: New insights from the southeastern Gulf of Aden, Socotra Island, Yemen. Tectonophysics, 607, 32–50.
Denèle, Y., Leroy, S., Pelleter, E., Pik, R., Talbot, J. Y., & Khanbarri, K. (2013). The Cryogenian Arc formation and successive High-K calc-alkaline plutons of Socotra Island (Yemen). In Lithosphere dynamics and sedimentary basins: The Arabian plate and analogues (pp. 335–360).
Medynski, S., Pik, R., Burnard, P., Williams, A., Vye-Brown, C., Ferguson, D., et al. (2013). Controls on magmatic cycles and development of rift topography of the Manda Hararo segment (Afar, Ethiopia):Insights from cosmogenic 3He investigation of landscape evolution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 367, 133–145.
Pik, R., Bellahsen, N., Leroy, S., Denèle, Y., Razin, P., & Ahmed, A., Khanbari, K. (2013). Structural control of basement denudation during rifting revealed by low-temperature (U–Th–Sm)/He thermochronology of the Socotra Island basement-Southern Gulf of Aden margin. Tectonophysics, 607, 17–31.


Denèle, Y., Leroy, S., Pelleter, E., Pik, R., Talbot, J. Y., & Khanbari, K. (2012). The Cryogenian arc formation and successive high-K calc–alkaline plutons of Socotra Island (Yemen). Arabian Journal of Geosciences, 5, 903–924.
Puchol, N., Blard, P. H., Charreau, J., & Pik, R. (2012). Les nucléides cosmogéniques : traceurs à haute résolution des taux d'érosion au cours du temps. Géochronique, (124), 19–21.
Zimmermann, L., Blard, P. H., Burnard, P., Medynski, S., Pik, R., & Puchol, N. (2012). A New Single Vacuum Furnace Design for Cosmogenic 3He Dating. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, , 1–9.


Perrineau, A., Van der Woerd, J., Gaudemer, Y., Liu-Zeng, J., Pik, R., Tapponnier, R., et al. (2011). Incision rate of the Yellow River in northeastern Tibet constrained by 10Be and 26Al cosmogenic isotopes dating of fluvial terraces: Implications for catchment evolution and plateau building. Geological Society of London Special Publication, 353, 189–219.
Pik, R. (2011). East African on the rise. Nature Geoscience, 4(10), 660–661.
Schimmelpfennig, I., Benedetti, L., Garreta, V., Pik, R., Blard, P. H., Burnard, P. G., et al. (2011). Calibration of cosmogenic 36Cl production rates by spallation of Ca and K on in lava flows samples from Mt. Etna ( 38°N, Italy) and Payun Matru (36°S, Argentina). Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75(10), 2611–2632.
Schimmelpfennig, I., Williams, A., Pik, R., Burnard, P., Niedermann, S., Finkel, R., et al. (2011). Inter-comparison of cosmogenic in-situ 3He, 21Ne and 36Cl at low latitude along an altitude transect on the SE slope of Kilimanjaro volcano (3°S, Tanzania). Quaternary Geochronology, 6(5), 425–436.


Roudil, D., Jegou, C., Pik, R., Barthe, M. F., Cuney, M., Vella, F., et al. (2010). Thermal desorption gas chromatography and positron annihilation spectroscopy contribution to alpha decay studies in actinide-doped matrices. IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., 57, 3676–3677.


Godard, V., Pik, R., Lavé, J., Cattin, R., Tibari, B., de Sigoyer, J., et al. (2009). Late Cenozoic evolution of the central Longmen Shan, eastern Tibet: Insight from (U-Th)/He thermochronometry. Tectonics, 28(TC5009), 1–17.
Pik, R., & Marty, B. (2009). Helium isotopic signature of modern and fossil fluids associated with the Corinth rift fault zone (Greece): Implication for fault connectivity in the lower crust. Chemical Geology, 266(1-2), 67–75.
Schimmelpfennig, I., Benedetti, L., Finkel, R., Pik, R., Blard, P. H., Bourles, D., et al. (2009). Sources of in-situ Cl-36 in basaltic rocks. Implications for calibration of production rates. Quaternary Geochronology, 4(6), 441–461.


Blard, P. H., & Pik, R. (2008). An alternative isochron method for measuring cosmogenic He-3 in lava flows. Chemical Geology, 251(1-4), 20–32.
Maurel, O., Monié, P., Pik, R., Arnaud, N., Brunel, M., & Jolivet, M. (2008). The Meso-Cenozoic thermo-tectonic evolution of the Eastern Pyrenees: an 40Ar/39Ar fission track and (U/Th)/He thermochronological study of the Canigou and Mont-Louis massifs. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 97(3), 565–584.
Pik, R., Marty, B., Carignan, J., Yirgu, G., & Ayalew, T. (2008). Timing of East African Rift development in southern Ethiopia: Implication for mantle plume activity and evolution of topography. Geology, 36(2), 167–170.
Roudil, D., Bonhoure, J., & Pik, R. (2008). Diffusion of radiogenic helium in natural uranium oxides. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 378(1), 70–78.


Blard, P. H., Lavé, J., Pik, R., Wagnon, P., & Bourlès, D. (2007). Persistence of full glacial conditions in the central Pacific until 15,000 years ago. Nature, 449(7162), 585–591.
Bourgeois, O., Ford, M., Diraison, M., Le Carlier de Veslud, C., Gerbault, M., Pik, R., et al. (2007). Separation of rifting and lithospheric folding signatures in the NW-Alpine foreland. International Journal of Earth Sciences, 96, 1003–1031.
Dunai, T. J., Stuart, F. M., Pik, R., Burnard, P., & Gayer, E. (2007). Production of 3He in crustal rocks by cosmogenic thermal neutrons. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 258(1-2), 228–236.
Montagner, J. P., Marty, B., Stutzmann, E., Sicilia, D., Cara, M., Pik, R., et al. (2007). Mantle upwellings and convective instabilities revealed by seismic tomography and helium isotope geochemistry beneath eastern Africa. Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L21303.


Bernet, M., Van der Beek, P., Pik, R., Huyghe, P., Mugnier, J. L., Labrin, E., et al. (2006). Miocene to recent exhumation of the central Himalaya determined from combined detrital zircon fission-track and U/Pb analysis of Siwalik sediments, western Nepal. Basin Research, 18(4), 393–412.
Kraml, M., Pik, R., Rahn, M., Selbekk, R., Carignan, J., & Keller, J. (2006). A new multi-mineral age reference material for 40Ar/39Ar, (U-Th)/He and fission track dating methods: the Limberg t3 tuff. Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 30(2), 73–86.
Pik, R., Marty, B., & Hilton, D. R. (2006). How many mantle plumes in Africa?: The geochemical point of view. Chemical Geology, 226, 100–114.


Boyet, M., Garcia, M. O., Pik, R., & Albarède, F. (2005). A search for Nd-142 evidence of primordial mantle heterogeneities in plume basalts. Geophysical Research Letters, 32(4).
Yokochi, R., Marty, B., Pik, R., & Burnard, P. (2005). High 3He/4He ratios in peridotite xenoliths from SW Japan revisited: evidence for cosmogenic 3He released by vacuum crushing. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems G3, 6(1), 1–12.


Ayalew, D., Barbey, P., Marty, B., Reisberg, L., Yirgu, G., & Pik, R. (2002). Origin and timing of Ethiopian Ignimbrites. Geological Journal, 36, 409–419.
Ayalew, D., Barbey, P., Marty, B., Reisberg, L., Yirgu, G., & Pik, R. (2002). Source, genesis and timing of giant ignimbrite deposits associated with Ethiopian continental flood basalts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 66(8), 1429–1448.
Révillon, S., Chauvel, C., Arndt, N. T., Pik, R., Martineau, F., Fourcade, S., et al. (2002). Heterogeneity of the Caribbean plateau mantle source: Sr, O and He isotopic compositions of olivine and clinopyroxene from Gorgona Island. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 205(1-2), 91–106.


Quattrocchi, F., Pik, R., Angelone, M., Barbieri, M., Conti, A., Guerra, S., et al. (2000). Geochemical changes at the Bagni di Triponzo thermal spring during the Umbria Marche 1997-1998 seismic sequence. Journal of Seismology, 4(4), 567–587.


Dereje, A., Yirgu, G., & Pik, R. (1999). Geochemical and isotopic (Sr, Nd and Pb) characteristics of volcanic rocks from southwestern Ethiopia. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 29(2), 381–391.
Pik, R., Deniel, C., Coulon, C., Yirgu, G., & Marty, B. (1999). Isotopic and trace element signatures of Ethiopian flood basalts : evidence for plume-lithosphère interactions. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 63(15), 2263–2279.
Roger, S., Dautria, J. M., Coulon, C., Pik, R., Yirgu, G., Michard, A., et al. (1999). An insight on the nature, composition and evolution of the lithospheric mantle beneath the north-western Ethiopian plateau : the ultrabasic xenoliths from the Tana Lake Province. Acta Vulcanologica, 11(1), 161–168.


Pik, R., Deniel, C., Coulon, C., Yirgu, G., Hofmann, C., & Dereje, A. (1998). The Northwestern Ethiopian Plateau flood basalts : Classification and spatial distributionof magma types. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 81, 91–111.
Rochette, P., Tamrat, E., Féraud, G., Pik, R., Courtillot, V., Ketefo, E., et al. (1998). Magnetostratigraphy and timing of the Oligocene Ethiopian traps. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 164, 497–510.


Hofmann, C., Courtillot, V., Féraud, G., Rochette, P., Yirgu, G., Ketefo, E., et al. (1997). Timing of the Ethiopian flood basalt event and implications for plume birth and global change. Nature, 389, 838–841.
Roger, S., Pik, R., Dautria, J. M., Coulon, C., Yirgu, G., Dereje, A., et al. (1997). Rifting actif ou passif en Ethiopie ?: Eléments de réponse apportés par l'étude des xénolites péridotites de la région du lac Tana. Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, série II, 324, 1009–1016.


Marty, B., Pik, R., & Yirgu, G. (1996). Helium isotopic variations in Ethiopian Plume Lavas: nature of magmatic sources and limit on lower mantle contribution. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 144, 223–237.

Enseignement / Teaching


  • geochemistry, igneous petrology & rift geodynamics

Thesis Supervision

  • Eric Gayer (2003) : Relationships between climate-tectonics-erosion-transport in the himalayan system : use of new thermochronologic and cosmogenic methods of dating
  • Sarah Medynski (2013) : Interactions entre phénomènes tectoniques et magmatiques en contexte extensif : l’exemple du segment de rift de Dabbahu (Afar, Ethiopie) Co-direction : Pete Burnard
  • Martin Stab (2015) : Interactions tectono-magmatiques au cours de l’extension des marges volcaniques : nouvelle lecture de l’évolution de la province Afar en tant qu’analogue actif

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