GEO4120 – Near-Surface Geophysics

Course content

The course gives an introduction to geophysical methods for mapping and monitoring the physical properties of the ground at shallow depths, with a specific focus on environmental, geohazard, water resources and engineering applications. Emphasis is given to seismic, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) and electrical methods, while other methods will be briefly presented (laser scanning and electromagnetism). Short field demos may be given if time allows, in addition to software-based assignments.

Learning outcome

When you have completed this course,

  • you are familiar with the most common geophysical methods applied in environmental, geohazard, water resources and engineering studies
  • you understand which physical parameters are measured in each method and how they may relate to soil and ground properties of interest in each domain of application
  • you understand the principles of the key acquisition, processing and interpretation methods, especially for seismic refraction, GPR and resistivity
  • you are able to perform elementary processing steps of each method mentioned above, through using standard software, and to interpret the final results, keeping in mind possible geophysical limitations

Admission to the course

Students admitted at UiO must apply for courses in Studentweb. Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

Nordic citizens and applicants residing in the Nordic countries may apply to take this course as a single course student.

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


Teaching consists of lectures and assignments. Written assignments must be approved before you can take the final exam.

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 Students who fail to meet are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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.


  • Written assignments must be approved before you can take the final exam.
  • The final written exam counts 100% towards the final grade.

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

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English. 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) May 22, 2022 5:14:34 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language