The 140 th anniversary
of Acad. Prof. Georgi Bonchev's birthday - (1866 - 2006)
The 100 th anniversary
of Acad. Prof. Ekim Bonchev's birthday - (1907 - 2007)
60th Anniversary of the Geological Institute - (1947 - 2007)
Geological Institute “Strashimir Dimitrov”
For sixty years now the Geological Institute has been a leading research organization among the Earth sciences institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Basic and applied research studies for all the most important areas of Bulgarian geology are performed in the Institute.
In the last decade the Geological Institute has developed as the largest national research and expert scientific organization in geology, here the classical geological disciplines as well as the current challenges in the field of geoscience are successfully integrated. The main research activities in the Institute are directed to study of the geoenvironment of the Bulgarian territory aiming to support the sustainable development of contemporary society and harmonic safe control of the issues associated with geohazards.
From the first years till now, side by side with the research activities closely related to the needs of the national economy and society, the scientists of the Institute have distributed their knowledge in university education and in international research collaboration. The scientists of the Institute have been, and still are among the leading university lecturers, supervising a significant number of MSc and PhD students. Presently, the Geological Institute has delegated experts in more than 20 international scientific and expert organizations.
The Geological Institute was founded in 1947. After only a few years it was recognized as a research organization of national importance where the scientific basis of a complex study of the geology of Bulgaria in all main geological disciplines - paleontology, stratigraphy, tectonics, mineralogy, geochemistry, petrology, hydrogeology and engineering geology had been established. The creative academic environment introduced by the first directors - the Academicians Georgi Bonchev and Strashimir Dimitrov - attracted almost all famous Bulgarian researchers of geology into the Institute: Acad. Ekim Bonchev, Acad. Ivan Kostov, Acad. Todor Nikolov, Corres. Memb. Vasil Tzankov, Corres. Memb. Boyan Kamenov, Corres. Memb. Minko Minkov, Prof. Hristo Spasov, Prof. Iordanka Mincheva.
The consistent growth of the scientific qualification, expertise and competency of the researchers was an essential basis for the leading role of the Geological Institute in the implementation of almost all geological programmes, studies and projects of national importance during the second half of the last century. Such as the composition of different types of maps: geological, tectonic, hydrogeological and gravimetric maps of Bulgaria in scale 1:200 000; geological, metallogenic, engineering geological; geological hazard maps of Bulgaria in scale 1:500 000; map of the seismic zonation of Bulgaria in scale 1:1 000 000; compilation and publishing of 92 sheets of Geological Map of Bulgaria in scale 1:100 000 with explanatory notes; elaboration and publishing of The Fossils of Bulgaria (15 volumes and subvolumes), Stratigraphical Codex of Bulgaria, etc.; formation and development of the scientific bases for the utilization of the national mineral sources of raw materials; advancing the theory of the underground hydrodynamics and regional studies of the groundwater characteristics; highly qualified consultancy during the construction of some of the largest dams and other hydro engineering structures (such as Iskar, Golyam Beglik, Belmeken dams, etc.) and many other important for the national industry enterprises - Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant, Maritsa-Iztok Thermo Power Plants Complex, Devnya chemical plants, etc.
Soon after the establishment of the Institute a number of scientific journals and magazines began to be published - firstly the Proceedings of the Geological Institute - were published in the period of 1951-1974, transferred later on into six specialized series. During the period 1959 - 1966 Works on the Geology of Bulgaria consisting of five specialized series were published.
Currently the Geological Institute publishes two journals - Geologica Balcanica and Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Petrology. In addition The Review of the Bulgarian Geological Society is co-published with the Bulgarian Geological Society.
Nowadays the Geological Institute employs 160 people. Of these, 80 are researchers - 2 Corresponding Members of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 6 Research Professors, 36 Research Associate Professors, 36 Research Associates. Ten researchers hold the scientific degree Dr. Sci. and fifty have a Ph.D qualification. The Scientific Counsel consists of 23 members and is authorized from the Highest Certifying Commission to the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria to administer 8 geological disciplines. The Institute is accredited by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency to educate Ph.D. students in 10 specialties.
The research activities are pointed in two major scientific priorities, both are closely related and complement one another:
1 - Regional studies in order to achieve a complex geological knowledge for the territory of Bulgaria, the Balkan Peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean, based on the classical geological disciplines: paleontology, stratigraphy, sedimentology, geotectonics, regional geology, geochemistry, mineralogy and petrology.
2 - Geoecological investigations, that study and estimate the geohazard processes directed toward reducing the risk and to support the sustainable development of the country. These activities involve studies in neotectonics, seismotectonics, hydrogeology, engineering geology, environmental geotechnics and geochemistry.
The structure of the Institute consists of:
Seven scientific departments, two research laboratories and a research base, which are as follows:
Department of Paleontology, Stratigraphy and Sedimentology
Department of Geotectonics and Regional geology
Department of Mineralogy and Mineral resources
Department of Geochemistry and Petrology
Department of Hydrogeology
Department of Geohazards
Department of Environmental Geotechnics
Research Laboratory of Seismotectonics
Research Laboratory for Geocollections
Geotechnical Research Station, based in the town of Rouse
The Laboratory for Geological Analyses ‘GEOLAB’ - is supplied with some of the best laboratory equipment in Bulgaria for analyses of the mineralogical and chemical composition, physical and mechanical properties of rocks, minerals and soils. GEOLAB is accredited according to the BDS EN ISO/IEC 17025:2001 to accomplish over 120 types of analyses.
Information Unit, which includes a local computer network of about 120 working stations and a Library with over 80 000 books.
From the position of the leading national organization in geological investigations, with its highly qualified and experienced staff, the Geological Institute executes extensive applied research and consulting activities. Recently these activities have an increasingly essential role not only because they provide additional funding for a better running of the Institute, including maintenance of the laboratory equipment and support of the fundamental studies, but more importantly the accomplishing of these activities is clear evidence of the significance of the Geological Institute for the Bulgarian society and economy and that the research of the Institute is fulfilling the present-day requirements and needs of the country.
Dr. Doncho KARASTANEV - Director
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Last modified: 14 December 2007
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