Bulgarian Antarctic Explorers Have Carried Out Some Robust Glacier Research, Physicist Tsvetan Parov Says

Bulgarian Antarctic explorers have carried out some robust research on the glacier near their base on Livingston Island - and yes, physics has a future on the icy continent, Tsvetan Parov, one of the Bulgarian Antarctic scientists, told BTA in an interview. During the current annual expedition to Antarctica, he will focus on further work on the glacier.

Tsvetan Parov is a physicist and a speleologist, holds a master's degree in aerospace engineering and works as a doctoral candidate at the Space Research and Technology Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He teaches at the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia.

He said in the interview: "Our glacier spreads in several directions, it is really vast. It has many cracks on it. A large subsurface river is developing inside, flowing through large cavities."

To explore the glacier near the St Kliment Ohridski Bulgarian Antarctic Base, the scientists are using data about the impact of solar activity on the atmospheric processes in the deepest cave in Bulgaria, the Kolkina Dupka, which shows that underground exploration methods can be applied under ice as well. 

"We will put sensors all over the glacier," Parov said. The sensors will be brought by the Bulgarian naval research vessel Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii (RSV 421). They will be placed in cracks, where the ice is melting, to measure the temperature, the humidity and the atmospheric pressure. The data collected in this way will be processed statistically.

"We will descend into icy abysses together with mountaineers Doichin Boyanov and Kiril Doskov," the physicist went on to say. "We will thus be able to gather material from inside the glacier to carry out a comprehensive study of ongoing processes. We will see what the developments outside the glacier are causing inside it."

The survey is entirely financed under the Young Scientists and Post-Doctoral Fellows Programme of the Ministry of Education and Science.

The Antarctic rim, where the Kliment Ohridski Base stands, is the boundary separating the continent from the outside world, the explorer said. The rim is most vulnerable to the changes that are effected through the atmosphere. The Bulgarian project is aimed to assess the possibility of accumulation of additional ice.

After a four-year hiatus following Parov's first journey to Antarctica, there is no new ice accumulated in the vicinity of the Bulgarian base. The ice melts near the Bulgarian base but accumulates in the central part of the continent. Parov noted that Antarctica responds to the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the air and the greenhouse effect.

RSV 421 allows the members of the Bulgarian expedition to venture beyond the boundaries of their base on Livingston Island. The ship offers many opportunities for multidisciplinary research, Parov said.

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During the 32nd Bulgarian expedition to Antarctica, which started on November 8, 2023, the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) is publishing interviews with Antarctic researchers. The Bulgaria-Antarctica BTA's Log again provides coverage of the voyage of the Sv. Sv. Kiril i Metodii to Antarctica and back and its stay there, as it did during the 31st expedition between December 27, 2022 and May 2, 2023. Back then, only BTA had a correspondent, Daily News Editor Konstantin Karagyozov, who covered the 127-day expedition with text, video and photos during the entire voyage (including across the Atlantic in both directions) and throughout the stay in Antarctica. In June 2023, BTA published in Bulgarian and in English an issue of its LIK magazine "To Antarctica and Back under the Bulgarian Flag" dedicated to the historic expedition.

Again, all of BTA's information on the Bulgarian scientific research in Antarctica and the support provided by the Bulgarian naval research vessel, as well as on the other activities at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base, will be available to all media outlets in Bulgarian and in English on BTA's website in the Bulgaria - Antarctica: BTA's Log section.

BTA has a National Press Club on board the ship and is planning to open a National Press Club at the Bulgarian Antarctic Base on Livingston Island.

By 10:33 on 28.02.2024 Today`s news

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