Towards an integrated approach for the hazard assessment in the Kivu. The experience of the RMCA in the East African rift.
Earth and related Environmental sciences
Geodynamics and mineral resources
Surface environments and collection management
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The central part of the Albertine Rift and the Lake Kivu area in particular are remarkable from the geological point of view. The convergence of various natural hazards issues is a concern for the socio-economic development but represents also an important challenge for the exploitation of the energetic sources like for instance the Lake Kivu methane and the hydropower of the Rusisi River. The risk mitigation does not only require to monitor, observe, and analyze the present-day manifestation of phenomena such as active volcanism, tectonics, mass movements, lake dynamic, etc. It involves the reconstruction of the history by analyzing the archives, and studying geological and geomorphological evidences that are reflecting the result of the evolution. The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) has gained experience in the study of geodynamical processes from different view angles and disciplines. 1) Geomorphology and palaeoseismology are used to identify from satellite, maps, or field observations, recent-to-historical seismic displacements that can be further studied, and sometime dated to estimate their recurrence period(1,2). 2) Geomorphology is also exploited to identify ancient mass movements and their potential relation with tectonic structure (earthquake triggered landslides)(3). 3) In addition to the classical use of remote sensing for land use and geomorphology purposes, advanced techniques such as radar interferometry (InSAR), allowed the detection of regional ground displacements that are associated to the Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira eruptions. 4) Subsequent models are then used to identify the most likely scenario that took place, the depth, size, and extent of the magma intrusions or fractures for example(4,5). Local movements have also been detected as in Gisenyi for example where two linear fault scarps have been reactivated in 2002, inducing damages to many building in town5. 5) Finally, recent petrological and geochemical re-analyses of the famous Sahama-Tazieff reference collections preserved at RMCA have served to reconstructed the liquid and solid lines of descent of the low pressure Nyiragongo differentiation. Today, the RMCA is strongly involved in collaborations oriented towards the above-mentioned disciplines as well as in researches supported by various space agencies (ESA and CSA, ongoing; DLR, pending). As such, and in the perspective of new initiatives dedicated to assess the hazards in the Lake Kivu region, the institute could play its role.
CitationKervyn, F.; Smets, B.; Wauthier, C.; André, L.; Delvaux, D.; Trefois, P.; Moeyersons, J. (2011). Towards an integrated approach for the hazard assessment in the Kivu. The experience of the RMCA in the East African rift.. , International Workshop on Lake Kivu Monitoring and Development of its Gas Resources, Rubavu, Rwanda, 7-10 February 2011,