GEO4340 – Fluvial hydrology

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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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.

See general guidelines for examination at the MN Faculty autumn 2020.

Course content

The main aim of GEO4340 is to gain a basic understanding of the physical laws and forces that govern open channel flow. The course introduces the structure and properties of water, forces and mechanical energy, uniform flow in open channels, flow resistance, gradually and rapidly varied steady flow, flood zone mapping, gradually varied unsteady flow and flood routing (the Saint-Venant’s equations). 

The course addresses key questions related to flood management, such as how to estimate the inundated area for a given flood event, the speed by which a flood wave travel downstream and how to mitigate the impact of flooding.

Learning outcome

After the course you will have the following competence:

  • Understand and be able to quantitatively describe the main forces and physical conditions that control the movement of water (velocity and depth) in open channels (river flow and overland flow)
  • Familiar with the physically based equations that describe the movement of water in open channels, including water-surface profile calculations and Saint-Vernant’s equations
  • Perform, evaluate and present hydrological calculations
  • Experience with field work (discharge measurements) and the use of observations in hydrological calculations
  • Detailed knowledge of a selected topic (summarise and present a scientific paper)

Admission to the course

Students at UiO register for courses and exams in Studentweb.

Formal prerequisite knowledge


Lectures (2 hours a week), exercises/seminar (2 hours a week), fieldwork collecting river flow data (half day) and visit to NVE (half day). Active participation of the student is expected.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (

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.

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

General information about excursions at the Department of geosciences

We reserve the right to change the teaching form and examination of the course in semesters where 5 or fewer students have been admitted.


  • Written assignment based on field data counts 40%
  • Seminar presentation of a special topic counts 20%
  • Final oral examination counts 40%
  • All parts must be passed individually in order to pass the course.

If the number of students exceeds 10, final examination will be written, not oral. Written assignment will count for 20% of final grade, seminar presentation will count 20%, and final written exam (3 hours) counts 60% of final grade. All parts must be passed individually.

Examination support material

Any printed material, and an approved calculator.

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.

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. 30, 2020 8:12:40 AM

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