The laboratory performs a long-term research program in model karst geosystems representative of the main types of karst in Bulgaria. The core scientific network includes 5 base areas:

  1. Dabrash (Western Rhodopes): Manailovska and Kochan geosystems;
  2. Devetashko plateau: Krushuna geosystem with “Maarata” Natural Landmark;
  3. Western Rhodopes: Trigrad Karst Geosystem with "Trigrad Gorge" Protected Area;
  4. "Shumen Plateau" Natural Park: geosystem of the cave Biserna and Troitsa geosystem;
  5. Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem with Natural Landmark "Saeva Dupka Cave"

The research program of the Laboratory covers also more than 15 additional and reserve karst geosystems, were comparative regular measurements, monitoring and experiments are performed.

All the studies conducted are backed up by state-of-the-art scientific equipment purchased with funding from research projects. Due to the nature of the karst processes and the need for “in situ” measurements and analyzes, including in cave environments, the major part of the research equipment is portable. For some of the studies, special facilities and original sampling structures have been developed. Part of the specialized sample analyzes are carried out in the laboratories of the foreign partners from the international research network ProKARSTerra.

In 2013, the laboratory developed a model for Integrated Monitoring of Karst Systems (MIKS), which includes as a sub-system specialized cave monitoring (Speleo-MIKS). The MIKS elements have been experimented in model karst geosystems. Both surface and underground (cave) subsystems are covered in this monitoring.

A prototype of the model (Speleo-MIKS "Bisserna") was implemented as a pilot one in the Shumen Plateau NP (2015-2016) under a project of the OP "Environment". In 2018/2019, under a project of the Scientific Research Fund, the Laboratory built a system for instrumental monitoring in the Saeva dupka cave and its adjacent territory (MIKS "Saeva dupka"). A similar system is to be built in the Bacho Kiro Cave (2020).


BISSERNA CAVE in Shumen Plateau Nature Park (Speleo-MIKS ”Bisserna”)

Monitoring structure:

Note: The instrument monitoring network is partially built up in 2015-2016, but due to unresolved institutional and organizational issues and technical maintenance issues, it has not been completed and has not yet been put into operation.

SAEVA DUPKA CAVE, Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem
(Speleo-MIKS "Saeva dupka")

Monitoring structure

Note: Since early 2019, an integrated monitoring network at Saeva Dupka has been delivering information to the Laboratory in real time.

BACHO KIRO CAVE in the Strazhata plateau (Speleo-MIKS Bacho Kiro)

Monitoring structure: