Bulgaria is located in southeastern Europe. The country is bounded by the Danube River to the north, the Black Sea to the east, Greece and Turkey to the south and Serbia and Macedonia to the west. The territory of Bulgaria, despite its small area of around 111 000 km2, is characterized by a large variety of relief forms. The altitude in the country ranges from 0 m (near the Black Sea) up to 2925 m (Moussala peak in the Rila mountains). The average elevation of the country is around 470 m above mean sea level (a.m.s.l). Around 31% of Bulgaria is represented by plains (up to 200 m a.m.s.l.) and around 41% by hilly territories (up to 600 m a.m.s.l.). Semi-mountainous areas (up to 1000 m) represent 15%, and mountainous territories 13%. The higher mountains are located in the southwestern part of Bulgaria. An important relief feature is the Balkan mountain chain, which crosses the country from west to east and divides the country into two parts: northern and southern. This chain is of primary significance and presents a local climatic

From: Dragoni, W. & Sukhija, B. S. (eds) Climate Change and Groundwater. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 288, 13-24.

DOI: 10.1144/SP288.2 0305-8719/08/$15.00 © The Geological Society of London 2008.

boundary. The Balkan mountain chain is the main water divide of discharge flow in two opposite directions: to the Danube river and to the Aegean Sea. Furthermore, in the eastern part of the country the river runoff is directly into the Black Sea.

Bulgaria is characterized by a rather complicated geological structure. The outcropping rocks are of different chemical and lithological content, genesis and age. There is a large variety of sedimentary, magmatic and metamorphic rocks, and also volcanic-sedimentary rocks from Precambrian to Quaternary age. In parts of the rocks the porous, fractured and karst groundwater is formed.

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