Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course deals with the fluid dynamics of large scale motion on Earth, with application to the atmosphere and ocean.  Motion at such scales, including storms, the Jet Stream and Gulf Stream, is profoundly influenced by the Earth's rotation. Key aspects of the motion can be captured with simplified dynamics, as shown in the course.

Learning outcome

The student will obtain a fundamental knowledge of:

  • the equations of motion for a rotating system,
  • the geostrophic and hydrostatic balances, and the thermal wind relation,
  • gravity and planetary waves,
  • turbulent boundary layers and the energy cascade,
  • barotropic and baroclinic instability,
  • simplified models of the atmospheric and oceanic circulation.


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.


Recommended previous knowledge


2 lectures/week, 1 group session every second week and 6 obligatory problem sets, which must be passed prior to the final exam.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Student administration (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


  • Six (6) written submissions which count for 40% of the final grade, and which have to be passed before you can take the final exam.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 60% of the final grade.

Examination support material

  • Calculator and Rottmann's mathematical formula collection.

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.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses:

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 changed code and name from the autumn of 2018 from GEF4450 - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics to GEO4900 - Atmosphere Ocean Dynamics

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)