Context & objectives

Context and objectives

In November 2007, the European Centre for Geodynamics and Seismology (Luxemburg) and the Royal Museum for Central Africa (Belgium) co-organized the first AVCoR (Active Volcanism & Continental Rifting) meeting with a special focus on the Virunga (North Kivu, DR of Congo). After the success of this first edition, a second AVCoR meeting was scheduled in November 2013. The workshop’s main scope was to gather East African Rift (EAR) experts from various disciplines (geology, volcanology, geodesy, geodynamics, seismology, geography) in order to review the state of the knowledge about active volcanism and continental rifting, as well as the use of modern modeling approaches and observational techniques such as remote sensing, radar interferometry, GPS, geochemistry etc.
A special focus has targeted the Kivu rift area, which is one of the denser populated areas of Africa, facing large socio-economic development challenges. The scientific community involved in that area is strongly concerned by these challenges raising the global risk at a high level, and is more and more committed in the assessment of the potential impacts of geohazards (devastating volcanic eruptions, moderate though destructive earthquakes, recurrent landslides, mudflows, stratified lake with dissolved gas). These threats not only heavily weight on the population and infrastructures, but also on investments of the States and the private sector for edging industrial projects (gas extraction from lake Kivu, geothermy, hydropower, oil exploration). There is today a growing awareness and attention on the interrelationships between geohazards issues and the societal challenges. AVCOR has contributed to better understand how all these parameters need to be combined for supporting a global approach for an integrated development at a sub-continental scale.
The workshop was followed by a 3-day training course on hazard assessment and decision making during volcanic crisis (cf. Training course)