GEO2300 – Physical Processes in the Geosciences

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 the exams of most courses at the MN Faculty will be conducted as digital home exams or oral exams, using the normal grading scale. The semester page for your course will be updated with any changes in the form of examination.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

The course examines the fundamental dynamics at work in all geophysical systems, from the mantle to the atmosphere. These include time-dependent processes, advection and diffusion. Each process is studied in turn, first with analytical solutions and then with numerical ones.

Learning outcome

After you have taken this course, you will know: 

  • Time-dependent processes such as conservation of mass or tracer, with applications in carbon dating to simple climate models.
  • Advection and diffusion processes, for modelling river flow, spreading of pollutants and wave propagation.
  • Conservation of momentum, for modelling mantle flow to weather forecasting.
  • Skill in Python programming and numerical calculations, and the mathematical analysis of geophysical processes.

Admission to the course

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.

Special admission requirements

In addition to fulfilling theHigher 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).


Lectures 2 x 2 hours per week. Practice session for calculations 2 hours per week, and a 2-hour data lab for practice with programming if requested.

4 home examinations must be passed in order to sit the final written examination and counts towards 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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.


  • 4 home exams count together 20% towards the final grade and must be passed before you can sit for the final examination.
  • A written midterm examination (1 hour) counts for 20% towards the final grade.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 60% towards the final grade.
  • All exam parts must be passed individually in order to pass the course. 

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.

Examination support material

Approved calculator, Matematisk formelsamling (Rottmann).

Language of examination

The examination text is given in Norwegian. You may submit your response 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.

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.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) Oct. 27, 2020 8:12:27 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language