François Kervyn

François Kervyn
Royal Museum for Central Africa · Department of Earth Sciences

PhD

About

125
Publications
32,342
Reads
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1,806
Citations
Citations since 2016
58 Research Items
1199 Citations
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Introduction
Remote sensing geologist with research interests in the use of SAR and optical imagery applied to natural hazards and risks researches. Head of Earth Sciences Dept. (2020) and leading the Natural Hazards and Cartography Unit at the RMCA since 2011. Involved in the study of volcanic and hydro-geohazards in Central Africa (GeoRiskA research Group). My activities involve research, archive valorization, and scientific cooperation with African institutions and researchers to promote expertise.
Additional affiliations
February 2011 - present
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Position
  • Head of Department
Description
  • Leading and coordination of the unit activities: - Scientific research projects - Scientific activities related to cartographic archives valorization - Collection management and development - Public-oriented services and scientific expertise
March 2010 - January 2011
Royal Museum for Central Africa
Position
  • Research Associate
Description
  • Support to the unit activities: Leading valorization of scientific work; Identifying strategies for the Unit development
December 2009 - February 2011
Independant
Position
  • Consultant
Description
  • Consultancy in GIS for various EU-funded development projects in DR Congo Consultancy tasks : GIS training, data processing, methodological development for health mapping in DR Congo
Education
April 1996 - June 2001

Publications

Publications (125)
Article
Full-text available
Landslides and flash floods are geomorphic hazards (GHs) that often co-occur and interact. They generally occur very quickly, leading to catastrophic socioeconomic impacts. Understanding the temporal patterns of occurrence of GH events is essential for hazard assessment, early warning, and disaster risk reduction strategies. However, temporal infor...
Article
Full-text available
Classical mechanisms of volcanic eruptions mostly involve pressure buildup and magma ascent towards the surface1. Such processes produce geophysical and geochemical signals that may be detected and interpreted as eruption precursors1–3. On 22 May 2021, Mount Nyiragongo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), an open-vent volcano with a persistent lava...
Poster
Full-text available
Understanding risk perception and factors controlling the willingness to implement DRR actions is essential for effective crisis management, especially in densely populated cities close to volcanoes, like Goma in the East of the DRC. Willingness to implement DRR actions is assumed to be influenced by risk perception, but also by the individual eval...
Poster
Full-text available
The willingness to implement risk protective measures (protection motivation) differs between individuals and informing people at risk about the risk they face may not be sufficient to generalize the implementation of protective measures. Therefore, an assessment of the individual psychological appraisal of the risk (threat appraisal) and of the ri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Risk perception is an essential element to consider for effective risk management at time of eruption. This is especially the case in densely populated cities close to volcanoes like Goma in the East of the Democratic Republic of Congo highly exposed to volcanic hazards from Nyiragongo. The perception of volcanic risk involves the processes of coll...
Preprint
Full-text available
Landslides and flash floods are geomorphic hazards (GH) that often co-occur and interact. They generally occur very quickly, leading to catastrophic socioeconomic impacts. Understanding the temporal patterns of occurrence of GH events is essential for hazard assessment, early warning and disaster risk reduction strategies. However, temporal informa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The city of Goma is located in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. With around one million inhabitants, it is built on lava flows, 15 km south of the active Nyiragongo volcano. Historically, the town was affected twice by eruptions, in 1977 and 2002 and severe destructions were reported. At that time, no volcanic risk preparedne...
Article
Full-text available
Nyiragongo is one of the rare volcanoes on Earth hosting a lava lake. However, the understanding of its plumbing and lava lake systems remains limited, with, until recently, only sporadic or time‐limited historical observations and measurements. Combining dense accurate lava lake and crater floor level measurements based on 1,703 satellite radar im...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Disasters related to hydrological hazards are frequent, occur worldwide, and regularly devastate many African cities. The victims are commonly among the population in precarious situations, without solid infrastructure and with incomes too low to recover from disasters. Located in the western branch of the East African Rift, and squeezed between th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Uvira is a rapidly growing city of about 600,000 inhabitants in DR Congo. Squeezed between the shore of Lake Tanganyika and steep mountains hillslopes, and under the influence of a tropical climate, the city is familiar with flash floods. Nevertheless, the impacts of the flash flood event of April 2020 have been unprecedented in the last decades. D...
Article
Full-text available
Human activity influences both the occurrence and impact of landslides in mountainous environments. Population pressure and the associated land-use changes are assumed to exacerbate landslide risk, yet there is a lack of statistical evidence to support this claim, especially in the Global South where historical records are scarce. In this work, we...
Article
The population at risk from sudden hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, is often estimated based on the location of the residents. Crisis management tools, such as evacuation and emergency plans, are usually based on this information. Therefore, they often do not reflect over- and underpopulation in areas where the present population is different f...
Article
Slow-moving landslides exhibit persistent but non-uniform motion at low rates which makes them exceptional natural laboratories to study the mechanisms that control the dynamics of unstable hillslopes. Here we leverage 4.5+ years of satellite-based radar and optical remote sensing data to quantify the kinematics of a slow-moving landslide in the tr...
Conference Paper
We present here the TROPOMI SO 2 product, which is publicly available since April 2018. We describe the capabilities and limitations of the product for the monitoring of volcanic SO 2 degassing. With several examples, we illustrate the benefit of a small satellite pixel of 3.5 x 5.5 km 2 . Owing to its improved detection limit, the data can be used...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo are active volcanoes situated close to Goma (North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo). These volcanoes are among the most prolific sources of volcanic SO2 pollution on earth. Objective: We investigated the possible spatiotemporal relationships between volcanic degassing represented by eruptive emissions of...
Article
Full-text available
Based on a literature review and two case studies, this article presents the difficulties inherent in the main disaster risk reduction conceptual models. The method used to highlight such evidence is to compare two programs on disaster risk reduction with mainstream conceptual models. The authors participated in these programs, which were confronte...
Article
Full-text available
Goma city, at the eastern border of DRCongo, is highly exposed to natural hazards, especially from Nyiragongo volcano, located directly North of it. In January 2002, the city centre of Goma was devastated by lava flows and several thousands of people were temporarily displaced. Defining and quantifying population vulnerability to natural hazards, a...
Article
Space-borne Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (DInSAR) has been extensively used in the last two decades to measure ground surface deformation, providing key information for the characterization and understanding of many natural and anthropogenic processes. However, conventional DInSAR technique measures only one component of th...
Article
(free access to the article before November 09, 2019 : https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1ZmFe,Ig4H0Uo) Active lava lakes at volcanoes can be regarded as open windows to their magmatic systems. The dynamics of such lakes may therefore provide decisive insights into deeper magmatic processes, potentially leading to fundamental theoretical implications...
Article
Studying the causes and triggers of landslides is essential to understand the key process of hillslope evolution and the hazards they generate. Such understanding is crucial in tropical areas where landslide impacts are high and on the rise, and the dearth of accurate processes characterisation is large. Here we investigate the timing and the mecha...
Article
Full-text available
Accurate precipitation data are fundamental for understanding and mitigating the disastrous effects of many natural hazards in mountainous areas. Floods and landslides, in particular, are potentially deadly events that can be mitigated with advanced warning, but accurate forecasts require timely estimation of precipitation, which is problematic in...
Article
We processed InSAR time series of ENVISAT ASAR descending and ascending datasets and identified two new deforming areas on the northern shore of Lake Kivu, characterized by steady ground subsidence of up to ~1 cm/year over a time period of about seven years (December 2002/January 2003–March 2010). Two distinct areas can be identified: one centered...
Article
Full-text available
Landslide hazard remains poorly characterized on regional and global scales. In the tropics in particular, the lack of knowledge on landslide hazard is in sharp contrast with the high landslide susceptibility of the region. Moreover, landslide hazard in the tropics is expected to increase in the future in response to growing demographic pressure an...
Article
Full-text available
Since its last effusive eruption in 2002, Nyiragongo has been an open vent volcano characterized by the world’s largest persistent lava lake. This lava lake provides a unique opportunity to detect pressure change in the magmatic system by analyzing its level fluctuations. We demonstrate that this information is contained in the seismic and infrasou...
Article
Full-text available
Landslides can lead to high impacts in less developed countries, particularly in tropical environments where a combination of intense rainfall, active tectonics, steep topography, and high population density can be found. However, the processes controlling landslide initiation and their evolution through time remains poorly understood. Here we show...
Poster
Full-text available
Along the East African Rift lie several active volcanoes characterized by different eruptive styles and magma plumbing systems. In this particular environment it is crucial to study ground deformation to better understand the interaction between tectonic, local stress and magma movements. Here we used InSAR and GPS data to measure ground displaceme...
Article
Full-text available
Magma ascent that may lead to an eruption is commonly accompanied by variations of long-period seismic activity and SO2 degassing. Space-based measurements of SO2 emission rates represent a rapidly emerging and highly convenient approach for volcano monitoring; however, combining these long term remote sensing observations with seismic data is stil...
Conference Paper
In the Rwenzori Mountains, at the border between Uganda and the D.R. Congo, landslides frequently occur and cause fatalities and substantial damage to agricultural land and infrastructure. Up until recently, no information on the landslide characteristics, occurrence or spatial distribution was available. The use of archive inventories and field su...
Presentation
Full-text available
Volcanic eruptions are the ultimate surface expressions of magma movements at depth. Analyzing ground deformations associated with volcanic eruptions contributes to understand the mechanisms of magma emplacement and characterize the magma plumbing systems. InSAR is a particularly well-suited tool to measure ground displacement in areas that are dif...
Poster
The western branch of the East African Rift System, in Central Africa, is a region naturally prone to landslides due to the geomorphology of the area and to the occurrence of earthquakes and heavy rainfall events. The city of Bukavu (DR Congo) is located within the Rift, on the southern shore of Lake Kivu, in a tropical environment. Little is yet k...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Climate change is reported to be ‘very likely’ associated with an increasing trend in extreme rainfall intensity over the tropics. Its impact on the timing of landslide initiation however remains poorly understood. Central Africa, located in the tropics, has repeatedly been highlighted as lacking landslide catalogs and landslide-climate studies. We...
Conference Paper
Many cities in the Global South are known for facing an important increase in their population size. Many of them are then struggling with the sprawl of new settlements and very often urban planning and sustainable management policies are limited, if not non-existent. When those cities are set in landslide-prone environments, this situation is even...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The western branch of the East African Rift System, in Central Africa, is a region naturally prone to landslides due to the geomorphology of the area and to the occurrence of earthquakes and heavy rainfall events. The city of Bukavu (DR Congo) is located within the Rift, on the southern shore of Lake Kivu, in a tropical environment. Little is yet k...
Article
Full-text available
333 volcano - tectonic earthquakes allowed to analyze the attenuation of the coda waves by the Single Scattering model in the Virunga region at the east of Democratic Republic of Congo. A high attenuation obtained by the quality factor or of these waves illustrates a heterogeneous area dominated by scattering due to the presence of the magma in fra...
Article
Full-text available
Five periods characterize the temporal variation of the quality factor of seismic coda waves attenuation () at 9 Hz and lapsed time of 30 seconds, before the Nyamulagira eruption of 6 November 2011 in the Virunga volcanic region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The period I (January - March 2011) was characterized by low attenuation. It gro...
Article
This study evaluates the vulnerability facing the lava flows of Nyiragongo volcano, of the water and electricity distribution networks in the Goma city (DRCongo). The Nyiragongo volcano represents a permanent threat for this city, because of its proximity (approximately 18km to the north) and the direction followed by its lava flows during two know...
Article
Full-text available
The Kivu rift is located in the bordering region of theDemocratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, in the western branch of the East African rift. Here, the active volcanoes Nyamulagira (the most active in Africa) and Nyiragongo (host to the largest persistent lava lake on Earth) threaten the city of Goma and neighboring agglomerations, and destructiv...
Article
We present an overview of the installation, operation, and initial results of the 15-station KivuGNet (Kivu Geodetic Network) in the Kivu Region, Central Africa. The network serves primarily as a research and monitoring tool for active volcanic, earthquake, and plate boundary processes in the region. Continuous operation of in-situ measurement netw...
Article
The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) represents the most active zone of volcanism in the western branch of the East African Rift System. While the VVP’s two historically active volcanoes, Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo, have built scoria cones and lava flows in the adjacent lava fields, several small phreatomagmatic eruptive centers lie along Lake Kivu’...
Article
In the frame of the Belgian GeoRisCA multi-risk assessment project focusing on the Kivu and northern Tanganyika rift region in Central Africa, a new probabilistic seismic hazard assessment has been performed for the Kivu rift segment in the central part of the western branch of the East African rift system. As the geological and tectonic setting of...
Article
The study of rift basin’s morphology can provide good insights into geological features influencing the development of rift valleys and the distribution of volcanism. The Kivu rift segment represents the central section of the western branch of the East African Rift and displays morphological characteristics contrasting with other rift segments. Di...
Article
Full-text available
In central Africa, a combination of several types of major geo-hazards threatens the highly populated area centred on the Lake Kivu Basin and the Virunga Volcanic Province. Contributing to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policies not only go through hazards mechanisms analysis, but also through vulnerability assessment. This paper stresses the method...
Poster
Full-text available
The western branch of the East African Rift is threatened by a rare combination of several types of geohazards, while it is also one of the most densely populated regions of Africa. These geohazards can globally be classified as seismic, volcanic and landslide hazards. Landslides are possibly the most important geohazard in terms of recurring impac...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Volcanic cone fields are generally made up of tens to hundreds of monogenetic cones, sometimes related to larger polygenetic edifices, which can exhibit a wide range of morphologies and degrees of preservation. The Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP) developed itself in a transfer zone which separates two rift segments (i.e. Edward and Kivu rift) withi...
Poster
Full-text available
The western branch of the East African Rift System, in Central Africa, is characterized by the presence of several geohazards: earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides. Every year, landslides cause fatalities, structural and functional damage to infrastructure and private properties with serious disruptions of the organization of societies and severe...
Poster
Full-text available
The Rift flanks west of Lake Kivu (DRC) are one of the Congolese regions most affected by fatal landslides. However, information on the distribution of these processes and their impact on society is still lacking. Here we present a first regional landslide inventory and the associated elements at risk. The inventory was conducted in an area of 5,70...
Poster
The region of interest, stretching along the western branch of the EAR from Lake Tanganyika to the Rwenzori Mountains, is threatened by a rare combination of several types of geohazards, while it is also one of the most densely populated region of Africa. Landslides are possibly the most important geohazard in terms of recurring impact on the popul...
Article
Detailed historical records of rift volcanism are scarce. Such information is, however, of a great importance to study the role of magmatism and volcanism as forces contributing to continental rifting. Nyamulagira (or Nyamuragira) volcano, located in the western branch of the East African Rift System, is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth an...
Article
Full-text available
A summit and upper flank eruption occurred at Nyamulagira volcano, Democratic Republic of Congo, from 2–27 January 2010. Eruptions at Nyamulagira during 1996–2010 occurred from eruptive fissures on the upper flanks or within the summit caldera and were distributed along the ~N155E rift zone, whereas the 2011–2012 eruption occurred ~12 km ENE of the...
Article
Nyamulagira and Nyiragongo are two of the most active volcanoes in Africa, but their eruptive histories are poorly known. Assessing lava flow volumes in the region remains difficult, as field surveys are often impossible and available Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) do not have adequate spatial or temporal resolutions. We therefore use TerraSAR-X a...
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