5th Framework Programme
Geodynamic hazards (earthquakes, landslides),
Late Alpine tectonics and neotectonics in the Rhodope Region

International conference for the geodynamic hazards within the Aegean,
Balkan and Anatolian regions

May 2001 Sofia - Blagoevgrad


 The international conference - "Geodynamic hazards, Late Alpine tectonics and neotectonics of the Rhodope Region" aimed to open a broad discussion on the principal features of the Late Alpine tectonics and neotectonics of the central parts of the Balkan peninsula (Rhodope Region) and the related geodynamic hazards (earthquakes, landslides). The objectives of a more general nature have been to solve some controversial tectonic issues of European dimensions through comparison of different hypotheses with the field and laboratory evidence. The problems of the geodynamic hazards are extremely important in the Aegean region and the surrounding Balkan Peninsula (cored by the Rhodope region) and Anatolia. Earthquakes and landslides are of an alarmingly frequent recurrence, and produce serious losses in human lives and material goods. It should be noted that the strongest earthquake (M 7.83; 4.04.1904) recorded on the Balkan Peninsula and in Europe had it epicenter at the crossing of the Strouma and Kroupnik faults near the village of Kroupnik. The conference puts a special emphasis on field geology, and the extensive field trips demonstrated both the complex geological structure and the principal geodynamic hazards related to the Late Alpine tectonics and neotectonics.

 A Special issue of the journal Geologica Balcanica (Vol. 31 No 1-2) has been published. It contains three papers on the geology and geodynamic hazards of SW Bulgaria, as well as all abstracts presented by the participants.
The Field guide published is out of stock.

 Field trips The field trips have been organized in three parts. The first field trip (May 8 - 10) demonstrated important features of the Precambrian, Palaeozoic and Mesozoic formations of the southern edge of the Late Cretaceous Srednogorie superunit (a Late Cretaceous volcanic island arc deformed in Maastrichtian time), the Mid Cretaceous Strouma superunit, and the Serbo-Macedonian and Rhodope massifs. The Palaeogene Padesh and Padala grabens and the rifting along the neotectonic Kraishtid (Strouma) lineament in Neogene and Quaternary times have been also shown, and evidence critical for the invalidation of the so-called "Djerman detachment" (the so-called "autoclastic breccia" is in fact Oligocene conglomerate and sandstone with coal lenses!) has been verified by the participants. The one-day field trip (May 11th) demonstrated the Kroupnik fault - site of the Kroupnik Earthquake (4.04. 1904; M 7.8). The participants observed the Kroupnik monitoring site, Palaeogene geology and tectonics of the Brezhani graben, and the Neogene geology, neotectonics and geodynamic hazards (including anthropogenic landslides) in the Simitli graben, all skillfully demonstrated by Drs Shanov and Frangov, and thoroughly discussed by the participants. The third field trip (May 12 - 14) has been dedicated to the Precambrian Rhodopian Supergroup of the Rhodope massif, and to the reworking of the Pirin unit by Palaeozoic and Alpine tectonics. The Palaeogene sedimentary and volcanic deposits and late granites as well as additional evidence about the non-existence of the so-called "Strymon detachment" on Bulgarian territory, the interrelations of Neogene fluvial and lacustrine deposits in the Gotse Delchev graben of the Mesta graben complex, and other important features as the geodynamic hazards (earthquake risk) related to the Predela and East-Pirin fault zones, have been also discussed.

 Scientific outcome During the conference and field trips, a number of controversial tectonic and neotectonic problems relative to the geodynamic hazards have been reported and discussed. Decisive field evidence has been checked during the field trips. The following important geological topics have been elucidated:

  Further work will be performed through cooperation within the frame of the IGCP project 449 "Global Correlation of Late Cenozoic Fluvial Deposits". A Special Field Workshop is proposed for inclusion in the field programme of the 32nd International Geological Congress (September 2004). The experience gathered during the conference served also for the preparation of a subproject for the umbrella project PLATEC "Neotectonics and Mantle Dynamics" proposed to the European Science Foundation. Closely related to the theme
D: SEISMOGENIC ZONES, this subproject will be called "Geodynamics of the Aegean - Balkan - Anatolian regions".

Field trip itinerary
Field trip interary

© Geological Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Author: Ivan Zagorchev
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