Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem

The Brestnitsa Karst Geosystem, (area of about 60 km2, of which 26 km2 is a no run-off closed terrain) has been developed in the Vit River valley and is representative of the classical 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 were used for the field work 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 provoke creativity in the participants, and the combination of various natural and historical landmarks implies a rich cultural program of the competition.

The accommodation base of the participants and guests in the competition is in Teteven. For the purpose of preferential prices are provided the renovated and renovated board of the Sava Mladenov NPGSD (for the student teams and part of the guests) and suitable hotels in the city (for the organizers, the jury and the guests of the competition).

The town of Teteven (with a population of 8 675 inhabitants, 2018) is 82 km northeast of Sofia. It is the center of a municipality (with 13 settlements) in the Lovech region. The town is located in the height zone from 400 to 500 m asl. and is built on both banks of the Beli Vit River in a very picturesque area with rocky ridges, caves and waterfalls. The settlement emerged in the 15th century as a hummingbird, and in the 18th and 19th centuries it was already an important craft and educational center. The location of Teteven between Vasilyovska Mountain (1490 m asl) and Lestitsa (1355 m asl) in the Balkan foothills makes it an attractive tourist center and a popular mountain resort. The city and its surroundings are rich in natural, cultural and historical landmarks. The karst relief is prevalent, in which over 124 caves have been explored.

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The transportation of participants in the competition from Sofia to Teteven and back is free of charge. Free transportation is also provided during the fieldwork during the second race round, as well as for the excursion planned in the cultural program of the competition.