Contextualization of EO data for a deeper understanding of river environment changes in Southeast Europe

research project
Basic Info


Rivers Vjosa (S Albania) and Mura (NE Slovenia)
Rivers Vjosa (southern Albania) and Mura (north-eastern Slovenia)


One of the main objectives of the project is to develop methods and approaches for an integrated and deeper understanding of the rivers and their surroundings along the Mura (north-east Slovenia) and the Vjosa rivers (southern Albania). Based on the analysis of long-term satellite data (period of forty years) and the explanation of their results to the general public, the project will combine methods of remote sensing, anthropology and geography in an innovative way. The analysis of physically-geographically comparable rivers, with the only exception in the intensity of hydroelectric infrastructure, will help to understand how infrastructural and other interventions at the relatively dammed Mura river can change the river environment at the currently undammed Vjosa river. A synergistic translation and interpretation of Earth observation (EO) data (Landsat and Sentinel-2) and ethnographic material that illuminates socio-cultural understandings and experiences with river environments will allow to assess and explain the correlation between people and their (river) environment. This project will focus on changes in land use/land cover and gravel deposits (gravel bars) and will explain the experiences of such changes by residents along the mentioned border rivers in Slovenia and Albania.

The main outcome of the project is the development of a so-called StoryMap or knowledge base, with which we intend to translate specific and expert-oriented analysis of satellite images into user-friendly, publicly available information that meets the needs of various NGOs, initiatives and local communities. This participatory approach will combine local knowledge and experience of riverine landscapes with the analysis of EO data and contribute to a deeper understanding of the environment and, last but not least, to the security of water and food supplies.


remote sensing
satellite images
time series
spatial changes
anthropology of water
fluid environments
Slovenian emigrants/their descendants

Research areas
Remote sensing T181