Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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).

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)


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.

Overlapping courses

10 course points with GF243


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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:

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 field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


Written assignment based on field data (counts 40%), seminar presentation of a special topic (counts 20%) and final oral examination (counts 40%).

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 exam counts 60% of final grade.

All parts must be passed.

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.

Explanations and appeals

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.

This course was periodic evaluated in spring 2012 (pdf)

Facts about this course






Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language