GEO4161 – Contaminants in the Geoenvironment

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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.

Spring 2020: Teaching and examinations was digitilized. See changes and common guidelines for exams at the MN faculty spring 2020.

Course content

Contaminants in soils and groundwater 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.

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 student must hold a Bachelor degree in geoscience, chemistry or biology.

Overlapping courses


The course will have lectures once a week (2 hours). Mandatory exercises will be given and must be done in order to sit for the 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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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.


  • Mandatory exercises must be approved before you can submit the final home exam.
  • Final written home examination 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.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course if you sit the exam for one of the following courses:

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.

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. 24, 2020 8:12:35 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language