- The department has been created by merging of the former departments Petrology and Metasomatism and Geochemistry in 2006. Research in the department includes studies of Petrology and Geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks, magmatic-hydrothermal systems and metasomatic alterations related to hydrothermal mineral deposits and deposition of pyroclastic rocks, environmental geology, coal geology.
- Members of the Petrology group complete detailed petrological and geochemical studies on the mantle xenoliths entrapped in the Oligo-Miocene alkaline basalts to understand the composition of the asthenosphere, and lithosphere under the major tectonic units in Bulgaria. To evaluate the proper chemistry of the xenoliths, we study metasomatic processes in the xenoliths that occurred at surface level. These studies are completed with close collaboration with colleagues from England, Italy and Japan.
- Volcanological and igneous petrology studies cover also age distribution and geochemical and isotopic variation of the magmatism in the Upper Cretaceous Srednogorie island arc and the Paleogene Rhodope continental arc. We also work on the explosive volcanism, ignimbrite formation and catastrophic paleoeruptive events. Our additional targets are the post-emplacement alteration of the pyroclstics and lavas, which include low-temperature processes of zeolitization of glasses and perlite formation.
- Studies of metasomatic alterations related to hydrothermal mineral deposits in the magmatic arcs and modeling of magmo-hydrothermal processes using precise age techniques and isotopic studies are completed with close collaboration with Swiss, French and US colleagues. Studies of the alteration mineralogy in the lithocaps and oxide zones led to discovery of a large number of phosphate and sulfate minerals.
- Metamorphic group covers the study of metamorphism, migmatization and granite formation in Rila Mt, the Central Rhodope Mts. and NW Balkan chain, as well as high-pressure metamorphic processes. Research in the field include isotopic geochemistry and radiogeochronology to understand the history of the metamorphosed rocks.
- Environmetal studies are aimed at petrographic, mineral and inorganic chemical composition of the coal; waste products from coal preparation, pollution around mines, metallurgical plants etc.
Last update: 16 September 2011