GEO4171 – Floods, Avalanches and Landslides

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Teaching and exams spring 2022

In light of the most recent infection control regulations, we will at the start of the spring semester 2022 increase our online teaching, while we at the same time try to maintain in-person teaching where this is possible. We hope to go back to more in-person teaching later on in the semester. You will be informed about any changes in teaching or examinations on the semester page, in Canvas or through your regular channels.

Read more about postponed exams for the autumn semester 2021.

Course content

The course is split into three parts focusing on the most common geohazards in Norway: floods, landslides and avalanches. Extreme precipitation, flooding and landslides are ultimately connected, and the course discusses floods and landslide hazards.

The course introduces different types of floods, and further addresses extreme value theory, flood frequency analysis, and risk and uncertainty analyses. In the second part, the course describes landslides hazard, introduces tools and methods to collect landslide data, analyze the slope stability and predict risk areas. The final part of the course provides an introduction to snow avalanche mechanics and dynamics and modelling of those. It further provides an overview of avalanche forecasting and mitigation.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you are able to:

  • explain processes generating floods, landslides and avalanches
  • apply flood frequency analysis
  • apply models and methods for assessing slope stability and run-out zones of avalanches and landslides
  • reflect on susceptibility, zone and risk maps of floods, avalanches and landslides
  • describe common mitigation measures against floods, landslides and avalanches
  • describe approaches for forecasting and assessing climate change impacts on floods, avalanches and landslides

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 course must be taken before the field trip in GEO4171:

or equivalent knowledge

Overlapping courses


2*2 hours of lectures and 2*2 hours of practical/exercises per week, where many of the practicals will be used to prepare a total of 3 assignments that count towards the final grade. 

There will be a one-day field trip to a selected site and a 3-day excursion with accommodation. 

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:

You will need to provide documentation that you have passed HMS0504 when you attend the field trip/excursion.

General information about excursions at the Department of Geosciences

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

Cost of taking the course

The excursion has a fee of NOK 150 per day (if accommodation).


  • 3 assignments from the weekly practicals count together 50% towards the final grade.
  • The final exam counts 50% towards the final grade.
  • Both the 3 assignments and the final exam must be passed separately in order to pass the course.

The final exam may be written or oral depending on the number of students.

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 one of the following courses:

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.

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. 29, 2022 8:13:53 AM

Facts about this course

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