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 the 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 taking 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 modelling, and acquire knowledge of the basic principles, possibilities and limitations related to different modelling tools
  • use modelling results to illustrate important geological processes related to basin/margin formation and evolution together with maturation and migration of oil and gas

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.

The course admits a maximum of 25 students.

If there are more applicants than available places in the course, the students are ranked in the following order:

  1. Master students admitted to the following programme option: 
  2. Master students admitted to other programme options at the Department of Geosciences
  3. Exchange students at bachelor- and master level and other bachelor and master level students at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, UiO.
  4. Single course students

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.

The course builds on a knowledge base in geology as given in the bachelor's programme Geologi og geografi (bachelor), programme option Geologi.

Overlapping courses


Teaching consists of lectures and practicals. Selected practicals are mandatory to attend, and 3 mandatory submissions must have been approved before you sit the final written examination.

The specification of the submissions are:

  • an essay (geological framework)
  • seismic interpretation (regional 2D profile)
  • simple simulations of basin development

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

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

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.


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

  • The written project report about basin development counts 30% towards the final grade.
  • A final written examination counts 70% towards the final grade.

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.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

Courses 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.

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) July 7, 2022 6:15:53 AM

Facts about this course


Autumn 2021

Teaching language