MODUS - A Multi-sensOr approach to characterize ground Displacements in Urban Sprawling contexts

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Context and objectives

Landslides impacts are high in less developed countries, particularly in tropical areas such as the Kivu Rift (DRC, Rwanda, Burundi) where a combination of active tectonics, steep topography, intense rainfall and high population density is found. In the framework of the mother RESIST project, the study of landslides in this region was initiated with the aim to create a regional landslide inventory and to characterize the leading processes, with a focus on the effect of rainfall. MODUS aims to go a step further, with a special focus on the urban-sprawling city of Bukavu (DRC). A series of remote sensing techniques are employed, allowing among others unprecedented long time-series and quantification of ground surface deformations; this being the key for a better understanding of the landslide mechanisms and an improvement of the assessment of the related hazards.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

  • Unprecedented long time series of landslide ground displacements in a tropical environment
  • Characterization of landslide processes and the associated hazards with regard to natural (climate and seismic conditions) and human-induced factors (land use change, urbanization)
  • Methodology for characterizing landslides from remote sensing in urban data-poor contexts.

Expected products and services

  • Updated landslide distribution map and improvement of landslide hazard assessments for the city of Bukavu
  • High resolution DEMs and corresponding high resolution orthomosaic images
  • Strengthening of research network in Central Africa