Bulgaria: The Institute of Oceanology, Varna is affiliated to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. The main research activities are focused on the field of coastal dynamics, marine physics, chemistry, geology, biology, ecology, and underwater investigations. Traditionally involved in all aspects of marine research it also offers consulting and expert services, environmental impact assessment studies, education and training.


              The main fields of research can be summarised as follows:


  • Coastal zone Hydrodynamics (wind wave in deep sea and shallow water, wind wave climate, wind wave modelling, statistical wind wave models), Lythodynamics (sediment transport, contemporary bottom changes, beach dynamics and cadastre) and Coastal zone management;
  • Marine Physics (marine hydrology, water circulation, currents, hydrophysical aspects of marine pollution, semi-enclosed and enclosed basins modelling - Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Mediterranean Sea);
  • Marine Biology and Ecology (phytoplankton, zooplankton, macrophytobenthos and zoobenthos, fish-stock assessment, biodiversity, response to environmental parameters – eutrophication and pollution);
  • Marine Chemistry (monitoring and analysis of hydrochemical components in the sea, rivers and lakes, indicators of marine environment ecological state: nutrients, oxygen, suspended matter, POC, heavy metals in sea water and sediments);
  • Marine Geology and Archaeology (geological, geophysical and geo-chemical research, geological mapping, geomorphologic evolution and seabed processes, ancient sea coasts)
  • Ocean Engineering (developing of oceanographic instrumentation, specialised and precise devices, deep diving and hyperbaric systems, hydro- and geo-acoustics).

The experts are involved in consulting decision and policy makers for elaboration of environmental friendly regulations and standards for sustainable management of Black Sea living resources at governmental and local authorities' level. The scientific staffs are qualified in environmental impact assessment expertise.

There are 4 types of structural units in the administrative structure of the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology, which realize scientific, applied and operational activities in the field of marine servicing.

Hydrometeorological Stations and Posts (17):

Albena, Ahtopol, Baltchik, Bourgas, Bourgas Fish port, Bourgas Oil port, Emine, Irakly, Kaliakra, Nesebar, Obzor, Pomorie, Primorsko, Rezovo, Shabla, Staro Oriahovo, Varna.

Hydro-Chemical Points (24):

Shabla, Kaliakra, Kavarna, Balchik, Albena, Zlatni piasatsi, Sts. onstantin & Elena, Varna (Meteo), Varna (Tsentralen plaj), Varna (Morska gara), Galata, Kamchia, Obzor, Slanchev briag, Pomorie, Sarafovo, Bourgas - nord, Bourgas - port, Kraimorie, Sozopol, Primorsko, Tzarevo, Ahtopol, Sinemorets.

Observational Type:

Standard meteorological parameters;
Seawater temperature;
Seawater salinity;
Significant height of wind waves;
Direction of wind waves;
Mean period of wind waves;
Sea level measurement
Monitoring of chemical elements:
pH; PO4; O2; Ca; HCO3; Mg; SO4; Nh4; Cl; Fe; NO3; Na + Ka; NO2; H

Ship Surveys:

Research Vessel "AKADEMIK"
Classification : KM13 SRS under Bulgarian Register of Shipping.
Operator : Institute of Oceanology, Managing Owner : Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
R/V AKADEMIK is well-equipped and efficient multi purpose research vessel. It can perform complex and special purpose investigations in the following fields: hydrophysics, geology, hydrochemistry, geophysics, hydrobiology, hydrometeorology, geomorphology. The vessel is suitable for students and specialists training.
Basic dimensions : 1225 t., GRT 905, NRT 272 t, deadweight 309,6 t, length b.p.49.40 m, breadth 9,8 m, dept to superstructure desk - 7,40 m, dept to main desk 5,00 m, draught max 4,80 m, service speed 9,5kn.
R/V Akademik has very reach experience in taking of more than 100 local, national and international expedition and cruises with clients from Germany , USA (Texaco Co LTD, URI Graduated School of Oceanography, and Institute of Exploration ), NATO, etc.

Stationary buoys and platforms:

Institute of Oceanology of the BAS disposes with an experimental base located 50 km to the south of Varna in village of Shkorpilovtsi . In the recent past continues measurements of waves and sediment transport were made. Several international experiments took place here during 70s and 80s such as Kamchia'77, Kamchia'78, Kamchia'79, Shkorpolovtsi'85, Shkorpolovtsi'87, Wave'90 and others.
Unfortunately, these activities were not sustained during last 12 years due to unfavourable economic situation in the country. However, rehabilitation of hydrometeorological and some kind of wave measurements have been under way this year. In fact, Shkorpilovtsi is about to become a joint oceanographic and hydrometeorological station of IO-BAS and NIMH-BAS network.
A 250m-long stationary platform serves for deployment of equipment and implementation of measurements. Data are transmitted through cables to the main building where they are processed and stored. The present condition of the peer is not satisfactory.

Not available

Satellite Observation: Not available

Data Basis, GIS, Data Flow:

The Oceanographic Data Centre was established in 2002 as a part of the Institute of Oceanology. It operates as a centre for oceanographic data collating and is responsible for processing, archiving and distribution of marine data. IO-ODC also develops techniques for oceanographic data processing and database maintenance and management.
CTD data sets are collected during seasonal cruises with R/V "Akademik". The objective of expeditions is monitoring of sea water hydrophysical parameters in the Western part of the Black sea . CTD data included from 6 profiles with 45 stations as well as 4 offshore sites.
All collected data are delivered to the IO-ODC. They are available by special arrangements.


Human Resources:

IO-BAS : The total scientific staff is 52 scientists (3 senior scientists - Professors, 14 senior scientists - Assoc. Professors, 35 scientists - Assoc. Researchers. DSci. - 3; PhD - 22). 15 scientists are licensed experts to the Bulgarian Ministry of Environment and one scientist is an expert-evaluator to the 5 FP of EC.

Central marine forecasting division - Sofia
- senior researchers - 3;
- engineer - 1;
- technician - 1

Regional marine forecasting department - Varna
- engineers - 5;
- technician - 1;

Hydro-meteorological observatory - Bourgas
- engineers - 2;
- technician- 1;

Chemical laboratories - Varna and Bourgas
- engineers - 4;
- technicians - 4.