This course is discontinued

FYS-GEO9500 – Finite Volume Methods for Geophysical Fluid Physics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

Numerical solution of hyperbolic equations in conservation form. The Lax-Friedrichs method, Godunov's method and Riemann solvers. Convergence, stability, and accuracy. Compressible and incompressible flows, shocks and dissipation. Equations of state and reactive flows. Geophysical applications include atmospheric dispersion, tsunamis, fluidised systems, vents and volcanic flows.

Learning outcome

The students learn how to develop models of dynamical geological systems using finite volume methods. They will use code they write themselves and they will become sophisticated users of publicly available code from academic sources. They will understand the applicability and limitations of numerical models of various types and will be able to critically evaluate numerical work presented by others.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor degree in physics, geosciences or applied mathematics.


The course extends over a full semester with 2 hours of lectures every week. There will be compulsory numerical exercises.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


Students will prepare a project on a (geophysical) topic of their choice using the numerical methods developed in this course, and present this project as a research paper and an oral presentation before the conclusion of the course. Equal weight will be given to the compulsory exercises (see Teaching) and to the final project and this will comprize the final mark, passed/not passed. Both the compulsory numerical exercises and the presentation must be passed in order to get a final grade.

All candidates must lecture a given subject.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn

This course will not be offered Autumn 2012.

If the course is offered, a minimum of four students is required for ordinary lectures to take place. If less than four students participate, an exam will be given, but one should not expect ordinary teaching.


Every autumn

Teaching language