GEO4161 – Contaminants in the geoenvironment

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

Contaminants in soils and ground water pose a threat to our society and the limited land and water resources. The course will cover:

  • Types of contaminants, both organic and inorganic
  • Physical/chemical distribution among phases/media
  • Biogeochemical processes in soils and groundwater
  • Transport of contaminants
  • Risk assessment
  • Natural attenuation

Learning outcome

To give students the knowledge and experience to evaluate the fate of various kinds of contaminants in soils and groundwater. They should be able to quantify their phase/media distribution, their binding, degradation and transport, and provide the basis for risk assessment and remediation.


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.

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


Formal prerequisite knowledge

Bachelor degree in geosciences, chemistry or biology.


The course will have lectures once a week (2 hours). Obligatory assignments will be given and must be done in order to sit for exam. There will also be presentations and discussions included in the course. 

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


There will be several assignments throughout the semester which must be passed in order to write a final assignment in the end of semester.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

In this course any written exam questions or assignment questions may be available in English only.

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.

Explanations and appeals

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

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

This course was periodic evaluated in autumn 2012 (pdf, in Norwegian).

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language