20th Anniversary

Brief History

The Bulgarian Geophysical Society (BgGS) was founded on October 4th, 1990 in Varna during the 35th International Geophysical Symposium of Central and South-East Europe. Months ago an initiative committee from Bulgaria launched the idea of setting up a national geophysical society which was warmly welcomed by over 100 Bulgarian geophysicists gathered at the forum. The Society’s Statute was adopted and the founder BgGS Board was elected, which included D. Damyanov, D. Yossifov, I. Pavlov, K. Tonev, N. Krastev, P. Stavrev and R. Raditchev. The first President of BgGS was Prof. Dimcho Yossifov. The founder BgGS members were mainly specialists in basic and applied geophysical investigations of the solid Earth.

The foundation of the Bulgarian Geophysical Society came as a result of the intensive development of the Bulgarian geophysical science, education and practice having a history of more than 120 years. After the first scientific geophysical observations in Bulgaria, made in 1890-1891, the basic institutions providing systemic geophysical investigations were established within a period of about 20 years in the mid of 20th century. Among these were the Geophysical Service at the Department of Geology in the Trade Ministry (1941), the Department of Meteorology and Geophysics at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (1946), the Department of Applied Geophysics at the University of Mining and Geology "St. Ivan Rilski" (1953), the Geophysical Exploration and Geological Mapping Enterprise (1957), the Geophysical Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (1960), Geophysical Sections at the Geological Research Institute (1962), the Scientific Research Institute of Mineral Resources (1978, nowadays SRI “Geology and Geophysics” Co.), the Laboratory of Seismotectonics (1987) of the Geological Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, etc. During this period, intensive studies were carried out of the gravity and geomagnetic fields of the Bulgarian lands and joining Black Sea shelf, the seismic activity, radioactivity and thermal field, the deep structure of the Earth’s crust, including determining the oil- and gas-bearing perspectives within regional and local scales. A network of seismological, geomagnetic, gravimetric and ionospheric observation stations was developed. More than 1200 specialists were trained in applied and pure geophysics, mainly at the departments of the University of Mining and Geology and the Faculty of Physics at Sofia University. Their professional work and experience brought about a considerable progress in studying the geophysical objects and in applying geophysical methods in geology, exploration and mining of minerals, ecology, construction and archeology. In the process of consolidating the geophysical activities, a professional community of geophysicists was created who founded the Bulgarian Geophysical Society in 1990.

During its 20 years of existence, BgGS has kept developing, including in the hard times of radical social and economic changes taking place in Bulgaria. The state investments in the geophysical investigations, and especially in the exploration geophysics, have been considerably decreased. New structures and new methods in the field of geophysical activity are now in the process of application.

The will of the geophysical community to preserve and develop the opportunities for professional realization has been in the basis of the BgGS activity. The governing boards of BgGS have acted as initiating, planning and executive bodies. In 1994 Dr. N. Krustev was elected President of BgGS, and in 1997 Prof. P. Stavrev was elected President of BgGS (1996-2005). The current President of BgGS is Prof. S. Shanov.

Main activities

The most important activities of BgGS are related to organizing National Geophysical Conferences. The 1st National Conference was held in 1995. This was a successful meeting of the experienced geophysicists that have established and developed the systemic geophysical study of Bulgaria with their younger colleagues from universities, research institutes and business companies. In 1997, BgGS joined the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers as an Associated Society of EAGE. The 2nd National Geophysical Conference with International participation was held in 1998. This event was sponsored by EAGE, organization support was given by SEG. It helped increase international relations of BgGS. In 2000, 3rd National Geophysical Conference with International participation was held in collaboration with the Bulgarian Geological Society under the motto “Geophysics into the New Century”.  The 10th Anniversary of BgGS was celebrated at that time with special technical sessions, including 106 papers presented.

An important event in the life of the BgGS and the Balkan Geophysical Society (BGS) was the 3rd Congress and Exhibition of BGS in Sofia, 24-28 June 2002, hosted by the BgGS and sponsored by EAGE and SEG. The Bulgarian Geophysical Society is a co-initiator and active member of the regional Balkan Geophysical Society whose Presidency for the period 2000-2002 was taken over by BgGS. Petar Stavrev was elected President of BGS for that period. The 3rd Congress and other scientific and technical events, accompanying the Congress, as well the Journal of the BGS edited and issued in electronic way by the BgGS at that time, present the considerable research potential and practical experience of the geophysicists from the Balkan countries. The high scientific level of over 200 papers presented is worth mentioning. 

The tradition of National Geophysical Conferences as a  regular forum at a national level has been confirmed by the success of the 4th National Geophysical Conference with international participation, which was held in 2004 with co-sponsoring by EAGE, SEG, Bulgarian companies Anschutz Bulgaria Ltd., GeoLINT Ltd., REXIMseis Ltd., Oil and Gas E&P Co., Schlumberger, etc. This Conference was under the motto “Geophysics in the Economic activity, Environment and Cultural Heritage Investigations”. It provoked discussions on the achievements and future trends of development in the geophysical science, exploration and education.

The 5th regular National Geophysical Conference under the title “Geosciences 2006” was organized in collaboration with the Bulgarian Geological Society. This type of meetings of specialists working on related topics of geosciences are very useful for an immediate exchange of knowledge, new objects of interest and complex data interpretation. In 2009, BgGS took an active participation in the 5th BGS Congress and Exhibition in Belgrade, Serbia,10-16 May.  

    A look into the future

  The year 2010 will mark the 20th Anniversary of BgGS, which will be celebrated during the National Geophysical Conference on 17.12.2010 in Sofia. The technical program and organization conclusions will confirm the main goal of the Bulgarian Geophysical Society - to encourage the manifestation of the creative potential of the geophysical guild, as well as to strengthen and extend the role of the geophysical science and practice in the life of modern Bulgaria. BgGS undertakes activities of common interest to geophysical institutes, departments, sections, laboratories, companies, government departments and related associations. Despite all difficulties during the past years, BgGS has managed to create the necessary potential for its further development and consolidation for the benefit of the Bulgarian geophysical science and practice, of the geophysical state and of private institutions, as well as of all those using geophysical research data. The challenges to the geophysical activities require energetic actions towards finding broader applications and stable investments in the geophysical science, education and practice. As a creative professional organization Bulgarian Geophysical Society will contribute to these processes focusing on the future.

BgGS greets SEG for its 80th Anniversary acknowledging the organization and financial support of SEG to the activity of BgGS.


To Bularian Geophysical Society

       Ul. Acad. G. Bonchev, bl. 3

       Sofia, 1113