Benoît Smets

Photo of Benoît Smets


European Center for Geodynamics & Seismology
Rue Josy Welter, 19
L-7256 Walferdange
Tel: +352-33 14 87 44
Fax: +352-33 14 87 88

Other affiliations

  • Royal Museum for Central Africa (
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (

Past and current research

I am geologist specialized in geo-hazard assessment and management. From 2007 to 2011, I worked as junior scientist at the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Belgium, where I have acquired a 5-years field experience in central Africa and especially in the Virunga Volcanic Province (VVP). My research is mainly focused on the combined use of 2D/3D remote sensing, GIS and field surveys to study and monitor volcanic activity and related hazards in the VVP.

I am currently developing a PhD research funded by the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (AFR Grant n°3221321) under the supervision of Dr. Nicolas d’Oreye (European Center for Geodynamics & Seismology, Luxembourg), Prof. M. Kervyn (VUB, Belgium) and Dr. François Kervyn (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium), entitled: “Dynamics of volcanic activity and lava flow hazard of Nyiragongo volcano (North Kivu, DR Congo) studied by means of remote sensing, ground-based monitoring and numerical modeling”.


  • 2006-2007 – MSc in Natural Risk Management, University of Liège (ULg), Belgium
  • 2005-2006 – Agrégation en Sciences, University of Namur (FUNDP), Belgium
  • 2003-2005 – MSc in Geology, University of Liège (ULg), Belgium
  • 2001-2003 – BSc in Geology, University of Namur (FUNDP), Belgium

Grants and Prices

  • 2012-2014 – AFR PhD Grant n°3221321, FNR Luxembourg
  • 2011 – Laureate of the Belgian Foundation for the Vocation (10.000 euros)


Peer-reviewed journal publications
  • Smets, B., Wauthier, C. & d’Oreye, N., 2010. A new map of the lava flow field of Nyamulagira (D.R.Congo) from satellite imagery. Journal of African Earth Sciences 58 (5), 778-786.
  • Smets, B., Tedesco, D., Kervyn, F., Kies, A., Vaselli, O. & Yalire, M.M., 2010. Dry gas vents (“mazuku”) in Goma region (North-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo): formation and risk assessment. Journal of African Earth Sciences 58 (5), AVCoR Special Issue, 787-798.
  • van Overbeke, A.-C., Bagalwa, M., Durieux, J., Kavotha, D., Kies, A., Kervyn, F., Lukaya, F., Mitangala, P., d’Oreye, N., Osodundu, E., Smets, B., Tedesco, D., Wauthier, C., Yalire, M., 2010. Monitoring of volcanic activity in the Goma region (N-Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo) and mitigation of related risks by both spaceborne and ground-based techniques: experience of the GORISK project. Proceed. ECGS Cahiers bleus – 26th ECGS Workshop on Active Volcanism & Continental Rifting, with special focus on the Virunga (North Kivu, DR of Congo), Volume 29, 89-96.
  • Calais, E., d’Oreye, N., Albaric, J., Deschamps, A., Delvaux, D., Deverchere, J., Ebinger, C., Ferdinand, R.W., Kervyn, F., Macheyeki, A.S., Oyen, A., Perrot, J., Saria, E., Smets, B., Stamps, S., Wauthier, C., 2008, Strain accommodation by slow slip and dyking in a youthful continental rift, East Africa, Nature, Vol. 456, p.783-787.
  • Smets B., 2011. Spatiocarte de la ville de Goma, Nord Kivu, République Démocratique du Congo. Scale 1/10.000, Royal Museum for Central Africa, ISBN: 978-9-0747-5298-5.
Conference presentations

A total of 27 presentations in several international scientific conferences since 2007.


  • Smets B., Kervyn F., d’Oreye N. New insights into the geodynamic framework of the western part of the Virunga Volcanic Province. Magmatic Rifting & Active Volcanism Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 11-13th 2012.
  • Smets B., Kervyn F., d’Oreye N. Nyiragongo volcano (North Kivu, DRC): 3D modelling and monitoring of the main crater. Magmatic Rifting & Active Volcanism Conference, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 11-13th 2012.
  • Smets B., Kervyn M., Kervyn F., Tedesco D. and the GVO team. Lava flow hazard at Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira, DRC: Insights from remote sensing. 23rd Colloquium of African Geology, Johannesburg, January 8-14th 2011.
  • Smets B., Kervyn M., Kervyn F., d’Oreye N., Wauthier C. New insights into eruptive activity and lava flow hazard at Nyamulagira volcano, D.R.C., from a new GIS-based lava flow map. AGU Meeting 13-17 December 2010, San Francisco, California, USA.
  • Smets, B., Kervyn, M., Kervyn, F. Analysis of Historical Eruptive Activity at Nyamulagira (North Kivu, D.R.C.): Implications for Hazards. 6th International Conference “Cities on Volcanoes”, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain, May-June 2010.
  • Smets, B., Kervyn, F., d’Oreye, N., van Overbeke, A.-C., 2010. GORISK. Surveiller les volcans des Virunga depuis l’espace … Science Connection 32 (December 2010).