Time series analysis for the definition and classification of ecoregions

Classifying ecoregions in North Africa to optimize entomological surveillance programs for disease vectors.

(Cover picture: NASA 2002)


On behalf of the World Organization for Animal Health in the project “Defining Ecoregions and Prototyping an EO-based Vector-borne Disease Surveillance System for North Africa (PROVNA)”, the Italian Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Abruzzo and Molise “G. Caporale” (IZS-Teramo) has classified ecoregions in North Africa. With a risk analysis that takes into account similar environmental and climatic conditions, entomological surveillance programs for disease vectors could be adapted and optimized.
Time series of remote sensing data for the years 2018 to 2022 were created to determine these environmental and climatic conditions. Specifically, soil temperature for day and night, a normalized differentiated vegetation index (NDVI), soil moisture, a normalized differentiated water index (NDWI) and precipitation quantities were recorded and harmonized to a spatial resolution of 250 metres and a temporal resolution of 16 days.
The specific task of mundialis was to prepare and harmonize the various data sets.


The company mundialis has fully implemented the project. The following steps were carried out:

  • Download, mosaicking with quality assessment, cloud masking and reconstruction of the MODIS NDVI, NDWI and LST time series for the study area.
  • Resampling of the MODIS NDWI and LST time series to 250 m and aggregation to mean values for 16-day intervals.
  • Reprojection of the MODIS time series to EPSG:4326 (WGS84).
  • Download of TAMSAT precipitation data, aggregation to 16-day intervals and resampling to 250 m.
  • Download of NSIDC soil moisture data, aggregation to 16-day intervals and resampling to 250 m.
  • Fourier analysis of the LST time series.
  • Provision of all time series in GeoTIFF format
  • Meaningful documentation on procedure and metadata
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise “G. Caporale” (IZS) in Teramo, Italy


Classifying an area into similar areas (ecoregions) based on specific environmental and climatic factors (e.g. altitude, vegetation, precipitation, temperature) can provide useful information for optimizing disease spread surveillance systems. To this end, ecoregions in North Africa were identified as part of this project.