Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem

Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem, Northern Bulgaria (area of about 60 km2, of which 26 km2 is a no run-off closed terrain). It is developed in the valley of the Vit River and is representative of the classic karst in Bulgaria. The karst relief is made up of typical karst forms - a complete surface complex and over 50 karst caves of different types.
Surface and underground karst waters circulate in this geosystem, with complex connections forming classic hydrogeological zones. The karst landscape also features specific karst phenomena, some of which are declared protected areas. Among them is the Saeva dupka cave, one of the most visited show caves in Bulgaria, and the Panega karst spring - the largest one in Bulgaria (with a flow rate of 3765 l/s).

The geosystem covers territories of two municipalities, namely Yablanitsa and Teteven in the Lovech region, with different types of land use. Various economic activities are carried out on the karst terrain, incl. industrial production (cement plant). The consequences of these activities are well visible, and many of them are brilliant examples of human-challenged threats to the fragile and vulnerable karst environment.

The Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem is a model system in the research program of the Experimental Laboratory of Karstology at NIGGG-BAS. An integrated monitoring network has been built on the territory of this geosystem, incl. instrumental in a cave environment. The monitoring stations, as well as the specialized portable equipment of the Laboratory will be used for the field work planned in the competition.

The choice of the Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem presupposes easy and fast transport accessibility to the area of the competition (about 100 km from Sofia, including 80 km along highway). The many attractive karst objects on its territory will provoke creativity in the participants, and the combination of various natural and historical landmarks implies a rich cultural program of the competition.