GEO4140 – Environmental stratigraphy

Course content

Environmental stratigraphy deals with the use of microfossils and associated sedimentological and geochemical data in dated sediment cores to interpret environmental change, whether natural or human-induced. Examples from marine and freshwater systems illustrate how quantitative relationships between microfossil and geochemical data can provide information about biological reference conditions, even in previously non-monitored areas. The complementary nature of the methods used allows a broad understanding of environmental changes in aquatic environments (e.g., pollution, eutrophication, climatic change). Students will work on a small project to interpret the environmental history of their "own" sediment core!

Learning outcome

You will learn how complementary information from microfossil and geochemical data can be used to define biological reference conditions and document possible changes in marine and freshwater environments through time.

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.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

The following HSE courses must be taken earlier than GEO4140:

A bachelor's degree in geosciences is recommended. Some knowledge of biology and geochemistry would be helpful.


Teaching consists of 2 hours of lectures/seminars and 4 hours of practicals per week. Four obligatory, short lab reports and one oral presentation have to be done (and approved) before the final home 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 Students who fail to meet are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration ( 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.

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.


  • Four obligatory, short lab reports and one oral presentation must be approved before the home exam can be evaluated.
  • A written home exam counts 100% towards the final grade.

When writing your exercises make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules for use of sources and citations. Breach of these rules may lead to suspicion of attempted cheating.

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) Nov. 26, 2022 10:21:51 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language