GEO4120 – Near-Surface Geophysics

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 we plan for teaching and examinations to be conducted as described in the course description and on semester pages. However, changes may occur due to the corona situation. You will receive notifications about any changes at the semester page and/or in Canvas.

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

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 interpret the final results, keeping in mind possible geophysical limitations.

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.


Lectures, assignments and possible half-day field demo. 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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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.

General information about excursions at the Department of Geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or fieldwork, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


  • Written assignments must be approved before you can take the final exam.
  • Final written exam (3 hours) counts 100%.

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) Sep. 29, 2020 10:12:36 PM

Facts about this course

Teaching language