GEO4151 – Earthquake and Volcanic Processes

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Changes in the course due to coronavirus

Autumn 2020 and Spring 2021 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.

Please note that there may be changes in the form of examination for some courses taught Spring 2021. We aim to bring both the course description and the semester page of all courses up to date with correct information by 1 February 2021.

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

Course content

This course will focus on the physics of Earthquake and Volcanic processes, which are both important endogenic processes accommodating the deformation of the Earth’s crust. Building on geomechanics concepts, we will introduce key controls on Earthquakes including the strength of faults, stress transfer, triggering and anthropogenic seismicity. We will investigate magma transport through dykes, sills and other magma intrusions, fracture mechanics associated with dyke and sill propagation, volcano deformation induced by the emplacement of magma, and the stability of a volcanic edifice before it collapses. The course will integrate laboratory, numerical and theoretical approaches.

Learning outcome

After this course, students will have knowledge in

  • magma transfer and emplacement in the Earth’s crust
  • volcano deformation and volcano tectonics
  • earthquake and fault mechanics
  • stress transfer and triggering
  • interdisciplinary scientific communication and collaboration
  • research-based project work

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.

GEO4151 – Earthquake and Volcanic Processes and GEO9151 – Earthquake and Volcanic Processes have a joint admission with a joint capacity of 10 students in total. If the number of applicants exceeds the course capacity, applicants will be ranked in the following order:

  1. Students admitted to the following programme option: 
  2. PhD candidates at the Geosciences Department
  3. Students in other programme options in the Geosciences master’s programme
  4. Other PhD students and visiting PhD students
  5. Master’s level exchange students and other master’s level students at the MN Faculty
  6. Single course students on master’s level

Applicants will be ranked by the number of ECTS credits within each category: all applicants within category 1 is ranked before applicants in category 2. If there are space limitations in the course, available places will be given to students selected randomly among those with the same amount of ECTS credits.

Formal prerequisite knowledge

Overlapping courses


The course includes lectures, seminars and mandatory hours in experimental and numerical laboratories. Also, there will be oral presentations by students.

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.

To attend the field trip / excursion it is required that the following course is passed:

To attend the mandatory lab work it is required that the following course is passed:

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.


All mandatory activity must be approved before the student can take the final exam.

The final exam consists of a written scientific report (50 %) and an oral presentation (50 %). Both parts must be passed separately 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.

It will also be counted as 1 of the 3 attempts to sit the exam for this course if you sit the exam for the following course:

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in 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) Jan. 23, 2021 6:13:30 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language