GEO2300 – Physical Processes in the Geosciences

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course examines the dynamics governing the geophysical system, from the Earth’s interior to the atmosphere. A set of common equations is introduced, including the conservation of momentum, mass and energy. Through exercises, these equations are adapted and applied to different phenomena, from convection in the mantle to weather systems in the atmosphere.

Learning outcome

When you have taken this subject, you will have:

  • knowledge of how the fundamental conservation laws are formulated for geoephysical phenomena, including the conservation of momentum (Newton’s 2nd law), mass and energy
  • understanding of how these equations are simplified to describe specific phenomena in different parts of the Earth system
  • knowledge about which kinds of energy sources drive the systems
  • knowledge about how external driving changes the geophysical state, in initial value problems (such as storm development) and in convection problems (such as climate change)
  • skill in programming, numerical computation and mathematical analysis


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Recommended previous knowledge


2 x 2-hour lectures per week. Calculation exercises/presentations 2 hours per week. In addition, a weekly data workshop is available with practical programming exercises if needed.

5 compulsory exercises must be approved in order to sit the final written examination. Submission of two project reports which counts toward the final grade.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration, email address:


  • Obligatory exercises must be approved before taking the final written examination.
  • 2 project reports counts for 20%.
  • An written midterm examination (1 hour) counts for 20%.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 60%.

Examination support material

Approved calculator, Matematisk formelsamling (Rottmann), Fysiske størrelser.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

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


Every autumn

Teaching language