GEO4218 – Basin Formation and Development

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content

This course gives the students up-to-date knowledge and insight into basin formation and development within different plate tectonic and regional settings. It deals with mechanisms of basin formation, including physical properties of lithosphere, effects of mantle dynamics, and controlling factors for the vertical motion and temperature histories of different basin types. It is relevant to petroleum exploration in general, and the integrated basin analysis covers both descriptive and quantitative aspects.

Learning outcome

After taken this course you will know how to:

  • Integrate geological and geophysical data at different scales to constrain basin architecture and evolution.
  • Identify potential traps that may contain oil/gas using both seismic and well data.
  • Build models that can be used in numerical modeling, and acquire knowledge on the basic principles, possibilities and limitations related to different modeling tools.
  • Use modeling results to illustrate important geological processes related to basin/margin formation and evolution together with maturation and migration of oil and gas.


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.

The course admits a maximum of 25 students, and masterstudents in Geosciences, programme option Petroleum Geoscience are prioritized place. It there are more students than avaliable places in the course, the students are ranked in following order:

  1. Students enrolled on the masterprogramme Geosciences, programme option Petroleum Geoscience
  2. Students enrolled on the masterprogramme Geosciences, other programme options
  3. Single course students on master’s level

For applicants who are ranked equally, admission will be decided by points then drawing lots.


Recommended previous knowledge

The course builds on a knowledge base in geology as given in the bachelor`s programme Geologi og geografi, programme option Geologi. Especially the course GEO3240 – Seismic Interpretation.


Lectures and practicals during the week. Selected practicals are mandatory to attend to and three mandatory submissons must have been approved before sitting the written examination at the end. The specification of the submissions are:

  • An essay (geological framework),
  • Seismic interpretation (regional 2D profile),
  • Simple simulations of basin development.

There are project work/project report about basin modelling. The project report must be handed in and is evaluted and counts toward the final grade.

Approved mandatory submissions/project report are valid for 3 yrs.

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 Study administration, email address:



Attendance on selected practicals, and submissions of three written reports must be approved before sitting the written examination for the course.

  • The written project report about basin development counts for 30%.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 70%.

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the exam paper in English.

You may write your examination paper 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.

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.

Withdrawal from an examination

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.

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.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language