RESIST - REmote Sensing and In Situ detection and Tracking of geohazards

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Context and objectives

The densely populated region of interest, covering the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) in eastern DRC, western Rwanda and Burundi, and southwest Uganda, is affected a rare combination of several types of seismic, volcanic and landslide geohazards threatens that region. Active volcanoes (Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira) occasionally have catastrophic eruptions which cause major destructions in the city of Goma. Landslides include a wide range of ground movements and are possibly the most important geohazard in terms of recurring impact on the populations, causing fatalities every year and resulting in structural and functional damage to infrastructure.
RESIST aims to characterize the mechanisms leading to volcanic eruptions and landslides and to detect their precursory signals. Improved knowledge of underlying volcanic processes will also contribute to the better comprehension of continental rifting. For landslide occurrences, specific attention will be given to the identification of the rainfall thresholds for different landslide types and the threshold regional variability according to the processes and the environmental conditions.


Project outcome

Expected scientific results

  • Contribution to the understanding of the source mechanisms driving volcanic eruptions, dyke intrusions and landslides in the region by combining ground-based instrument networks, field surveys and new EO techniques and data sets (Split Band and MSBAS InSAR time-series, SO2 flux, TRMM);
  • Study and characterisation of monitored parameters that considered as significant in terms of volcanic and landslide processes;
  • Improved understanding of the not well known continental rifting process at its early stage.

Expected products and services

For volcanic and pre-eruptive activity characterization and modelling:
  • Classification of seismic and volcano-acoustic signals in a range of event categories based on signal decomposition results
  •  Spatiotemporal variations of seismic and volcano-acoustic activity
  •  Analysis of variations of seismicity and volcano-acoustic patterns and relation to other potential precursory signals (gas flux, ground deformation patterns obtained from GPS and DInSAR and InSAR time series)

For landslide characterization:
  • New models and data for LS prediction applicable to other landslide prone areas.
  • Hazard “nowcast” maps at the regional scale for the different LS types and regional models for LS hazard assessment.
  • Methodology through which similar assessments can be made elsewhere.


Local scientific users
  • Goma Volcano Observatory in DRC
  • The Centre de Recherche en sciences Naturelles (CRSN) in Lwiro
  • Universities in Bukavu and Burundi

Local non-scientific users
  • The Civil Protection units in Goma and Bukavu
  • The urban planners, the Mayor, the cadaster, the environment, the energy, water, and communication network companies… .
  • In Rwanda, the Geology and Mines Department (GMD) and the Ministry of Disasters Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR)
  • Local NGO’s like the local Red Cross

International users
  • Scientific (the research community) or non-scientific users like countries cooperation agencies, or the EU, and UN development agencies that are supporting development programmes that could be jeopardized by natural disasters.