Current impacts of global changes on evolution of karst
(based on the Integrated monitoring of model karst geosystems in Bulgaria)

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Project objectives

The objective of the project is to investigate the system of global changes that have an impact on karst evolution, using model karst geosystems, representative of different types of karst, for their registration, analysis and evaluation. Therefore, the main research will be carried out in the real conditions of specially selected karst geosystems with organized integrated monitoring in them. Their choice is determined by representativeness (for type/s of karst in Bulgaria, geographic zone/belt, traditions in land use, specific socio-economic status, social significance and interest, including tourism, manifestations of active impact of global changes) as well as some additional accessibility (all year round) requirements; statutory status (including control and security of the sites where monitoring systems will be installed); previous studies and accessible databases. In previous research a network of model karst geosystems with different status - basic, additional and auxiliary (Fig. 6) was developed.

This network will also be used in the proposed project, and the monitoring studies will be concentrated in the basic karst geosystems: Brestnitsa with NL “Saeva dupka”, Krushuna with PA “Maarata”, Zandanska with Biserna cave (Shumen Plateau) and Trigrad with NL “Trigrad gorge” (Fig. 7).

Protected areas in model karst geosystems offer additional challenges and advantages in conduction of the research because: they have a regulated status, built and maintained infrastructure; institutional management and control, incl. specialized administrations and management plans; by presumption require specialized research and monitoring; they are distinguished by their uniqueness and popularity.