Work package 1: The system of global changes and their regional and local impact on the karst
- Task 1.1 Survey of worldwide research and international exchange of information.
- Task 1.2 Conduction of workshops-discussions with scientists exploring global changes and karst.
- Task 1.3 Collection of source information and classification of the types of global change.
- Task 1.4 Preparation and discussion of a theoretical model describing the system of global changes and their relationship with the karst.
Work package 2: Global climate change and its regional and local impacts on speleomicroclimate and evolution of karst geosystems
- Task 2.1 Collection of data by climatic elements at regional and local level (air temperature, precipitation, air pressure, circulation, gas composition, etc.) and data for speleomicroclimate (air temperature, humidity, gas composition, etc.) in the model karst caves (archive data and data from previous research of the members of the team)
- Task 2.2 Checking the quality of gathered information and carrying out homogenization or filling in missing data wherever possible
- Task 2.3 Conducting regime microclimatic measurements in model karst caves from the ProKARSTerra research network
- Task 2.4 Organization/upgrade of continuous instrumental microclimatic monitoring in Saeva dupka and Bacho Kiro caves (3 underground stations in total) and outside the cave entrances (with automatic weather stations).
- Task 2.5 Establishing relationships (including relationship direction) between atmospheric climatic elements and speleomicroclimatic elements using statistical methods. Establishing relationships between atmospheric climatic elements and surface karst elements. Establishing relationships between atmospheric climatic elements and various anthropogenic activities (agriculture, tourism, transport) in the studied model areas.
- Task 2.6 Creation of statistical models which describe the revealed relationships between climatic elements and elements of karst geosystems.
- Task 2.7 Medium term forecast for the development of some elements of the karst geosystem (mainly speleomicroclimate, but also underground karst waters, sinter genesis, etc.), based on the current climatic trends and created statistical models.
Work package 3: Impacts of global change on karst waters and karst processes
- Task 3.1 Collection of archive information about the water sources in the studied karst geosystems and verifying the quality of the information.
- Task 3.2 Organization of regime hydrometer and hydrochemical measurements and in situ tests of surface and groundwater, incl. cave ones, in the karst water monitoring networks in model karst geosystems.
- Task 3.3 Organization of automated continuous instrumental monitoring of the intensity of infiltration water inflow (sinter drops) in Saeva dupka cave.
- Task 3.4 Conduction of experiments: to determine the carbonate aggressiveness of the condense water in studied caves and mixing corrosion.
- Task 3.5 Application of stable isotope methods in the study of the interconnection between the karst sinkholes of the Vit river and karst spring Glava Panega (Brestnitsa karst geosystem).
- Task 3.6 Periodic monitoring with sampling of lysimetric water in the experimental sites in Krushuna and Zandan karst geosystems. Construction of new sites with lysimetric devices above Saeva dupka cave.
- Task 3.7 Conduction of special studies and sampling to identify different types of pollution in karst waters, incl. in the caves. Conduction of specialized laboratory analyzes in certified laboratories. Location of sources and determination of degree of pollution.
- Task 3.8 Determination of karst denudation in the studied karst geosystems (according to the regime measurements and field samples and analyzes). Comparative analysis of previous research data and determination of trends and predictions of karst denudation and karst genesis in relation to global changes.
- Task 3.9 Establishing interrelationships (and impacts) between atmospheric climate elements, speleomicroclimatic elements and precipitation, infiltration and spring karst waters. Establishing interrelationships between karst waters and anthropogenic activity in the studied karst geosystems.
Work package 4: Impacts of global changes on radiological state
- Task 4.1 Maintenance of radiometric monitoring (222radon, 14CO2, gamma-radiation) in the research network BGSpeleo-RadNet, built under previous research. Provision of additional monitoring points in new caves.
- Task 4.2 Specialized laboratory processing and measurements at NphI-CAS laboratories, Prague of track detectors and radon and 14CO2 monitoring samples
- Task 4.3 Collection of specimens of specific karstolites in model karst geosystems in Bulgaria and radiocarbon dating (14C analyzes, including with AMS) in NphI - CAS, Prague.
- Task 4.4 Organization and conduction of specialized monitoring of radon in soil profiles in model karst geosystems and in sediments in caves.
- Task 4.5 Determination of interrelations between speleomicroclimate, regional climate and natural ventilation in BGSpeleo-RadNet caves.
- Task 4.6 Based on monitoring results, calculation of effective radon doses and safe stay times in BGSpeleo-RadNet caves. Preparation of official documents with a proposal to regulate radiation-safe working time in a "cave" workplace.
- Task 4.7 Determination of correlations between radiocarbon in atmospheric and cave air and the role of karst and sinter genesis as fossil carbon generators. Determination of interrelationships between global change and carbon cycle.
Work package 5: Tectonic-seismic monitoring and assessment of seismic hazard
- Task 5.1 Maintenance of the monitoring of slow tectonic movements with opto-mechanical instruments TM-71 Dilatometer installed in the caves of the international research network EU-TecNet (IRSM-CAN, Prague). Equipment of additional caves in the Rhodope mountains with monitoring instruments.
- Task 5.2 Coordination of the results of the monitoring of the slow tectonic movements with the results of the National Operative Telemetry System for Seismological Information (NOTSSI) and the National Permanent GNSS Network (Global Navigation Satellite Systems), maintained by NIGGG-BAS. Assessment of seismic hazard (and seismic risk) for the regions of the model karst geosystems.
- Task 5.3 Determination of correlations between slow near fault movements due to tectonic pulses in the plates and sharp fluctuations in radon concentration due to seismic activity.
Work package 6: Anthropogenic impacts on karst geosystems
- Task 6.1 Information update for objects (anthropogenic), subjects (economic etc.), demographic processes and economic activities (agriculture and forestry, extraction of building materials, tourism), significant in terms of their impact on the model karts geosystems.
- Task 6.2 Provision of land cover data for the regions of model karst geosystems and its changes (Corine land cover CLC). Compilation of GIS database with remote and terrestrial data.
- Task 6.3 Organizing and conducting a survey to collect information from three groups of respondents (local buisness,authorities and managing and serving tourist caves) to establish knowledge about karst, practices, attitude and attitudes towards economic activities in karst territories and conditions in show caves.
- Task 6.4 Processing and organizing the collected information, provided for in 3.1 and 3.3 from the point of view of clarifying the interactions, impacts, effects and consequences on karst and karst geosystems.
- Task 6.5 Exploring the dynamics of land cover and land use of model karst geosystems using remote and terrestrial data. Analysis of the change of the types of land cover and land use in model karst geosystems.
- Task 6.6 Analysis, evaluation and interpretation of the results of the processed and organized information from 3.4 and 3.5 taking into account the degree of overlap between karst geosystems and socio-economic systems.
- Task 6.7 Study of applied regulations / regulatory techniques for controlling and regulating human activity in land use in karst territories for selected karst geosystems. Making proposals for sustainable land use and tourism practices in karst.
Work package 7: Theoretical models of the impacts of global changes on the evolution of karst
- Task 7.1 Organization of the collected information from the project studies in the ProKARSTerra information and communication network and management of databases.
- Task 7.2 Creation of updated models of the studied karst geosystems. Calculation of trends and development of theoretical models of impacts of global change on the development of geosystems. Creation of an architectural model for visualization of the results in the internet.
- Task 7.3 Establishing feedback - the role of the karst in the context of global change. Importance of the carbon cycle.
Work package 8: Development of models and policies for sustainable development of karst territories in the context of global changes
- Task 8.1 Analysis of the world experience and of the Bulgarian normative base on sustainable development of karst territories.
- Task 8.2 Conduction of workshops - discussions with representatives of the state institutions, which have official responsibilities regarding management and control of the karst territories, incl. protected karst territories.
- Task 8.3 Development and discussion, incl. through workshops and public presentations, of scientifically grounded proposals for new policies, or changes/updates to the existing ones on the sustainable development of karst territories.
- Task 8.4 Development of theoretical models for sustainable development of karst territories in the context of global changes, consistent with the current goals of the UN and UNESCO and other international program documents.
Work package 9: Dissemination of project results
- Task 9.1 Optimization and maintenance of the open virtual version of the ProKARSTerra information and communication network and addition of new specialized modules. Development of a prototype of a web-based application for visualization of results.
- Task 9.2 Organization of an international scientific forum in Bulgaria (Monitoring, legislation and tourism in the karst - Sofia, September, 2018) and related events: International competition "Karst under protection – gift for generations", International competition for students «Karst - the last «white spot» on the planet» and others.
- Task 9.3 Organization of an international workshop in Bulgaria (to discuss a new strategy for the sustainable development of karst territories in the context of global changes - Sofia, 2019).
- Task 9.4 Participation at scientific forums in Bulgaria and abroad for presentation of project results (respectively, 9 and 2 participations of team members are planned).
- Task 9.5 Organization of workshops with representatives of different institutions to present project results and expert opinions, draft documents, proposals for legislative initiatives.
- Task 9.6 Preparation and publication of a specialized electronic journal "e-ProKARSTerra" (with an international editorial board).
- Task 9.7 Design of specialized scientific-educational routes at MKGs for field education and organization and conduction of Travel Karst schools.
- Task 9.8 Organization of public presentations of scientific and practical results of the project.
- Task 9.9 Compilation, publication and dissemination of project information materials.
Work package 10: Inter-team organization
- Task 10.1 Implementation of management and coordination functions on the team and organization of internal monitoring of the work program activities.
- Task 10.2 Organization and conduction of two (2018 and 2019) coordination meetings in Bulgaria of the team with participation of foreign scientists - discussion of various organizational issues, joint fieldwork, discussions on the scientific problems of the project, preparation of joint publications.
- Task 10.3 Organization of short-term mobility of team members for exchange of experience, collaborative work, participation in scientific forums, work in laboratories, specializations.
- Task 10.4 Preparation of the project's internal and final report.