Permanent GPS Network


The Department “Geophysics” is established as a successor of the Geophysical Institute , separated at two Departments – “Geophysics” and “Seismology” within the newly created National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography in 2010. The Geophysical Institute was founded through merging the section of “Physics of the atmosphere and geophysics” at the Institute of Physics and “Seismological Service” at the Geological Investigation Management in January 1960. The group “Physics of the ionosphere” from the Research Institute of Communications and the Geomagnetic Observatory “Panagyurishte” led by the Ministry of Defence joined the newly created Geophysical Institute in 1961.

Founder, organizer and a first director of the Geophysical Institute is Academitian Lubomir Krastanov (1908- 1977). Today, several decades after his death, he remains one of the most famous names in Bulgarian geophysics. Academician Krustanov was also Chairman of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences during the period 1962 – 1968.

In 1959, the Research Institute of Communications under the leadership of the researcher Kyril Seraphimov bought the first station for vertical sounding in the ionosphere – IRX 59. The group of K. Seraphimov with ionosphere station and all its staff joined the newly created section “Physics of the ionosphere” under the leadership of Georgy Nesterov in 1961.

In 1961, the Institute starts its activity in construction, development and improvement of the network of stations and observatories for gathering, storage and processing of information related to the natural variations of many geophysical fields in the country.

Another traditional research field of the Department, initialized about forty years ago by its founder Dr. D. P. Zidarov, relates to establishing the methods for solving the inverse problems and numerical analysis of potential fields. On the basis of these methods the distribution of gravity and geomagnetic inhomogeneities of a different type in the Earth can be effectively studied.

The Geomagnetic Observatory – Panagyuriste is a center of measurements and registrations of the geomagnetic field in Bulgaria. It has been built in 1937 and was the first one on the Balkan Peninsula. In the course of more than 60 years there is a continuous registration of the variations of geomagnetic field and absolute measurements records. The processed data have been published in geomagnetic newsletters from 1956 to 1982. The data in digital form has been sent to the World Data Centres since 1983 until now.

Angel Venedikov initiates the study of earth tides in Bulgaria in 1961. He became a world-renowned scientist with his research and computing programs for the parameters of the tidal deformation of the Earth. Angel Venedikov conducts also the first measurements of tides in Bulgaria.

The first paleomagnetic studies in Bulgaria were initiated in 1965 by Prof. Peter Nozharov, founder of the Palaeomagnetic Laboratory at the Geophysical Institute. Archaeomagnetic research in Bulgaria starts in 1967. The founder of this field is Prof. Mary Kovatcheva. She started accumulating data on the elements of the ancient geomagnetic field for the territory of Bulgaria by examining the remains of burned clay from archaeological sites. Due to her hard work for many years, Bulgaria has the world’s longest Archaeomagnetic data base with time period covering almost continuously the last 8000 years.

During the transition period after 1989, and by the end of the century, the main efforts are focused on the preservation and development of achievement with particular focus on ensuring the safe operation of the monitoring network of the Institute. Since 1997 purposeful efforts for renovation and modernization of the institute monitoring network has begun.