This course is replaced by GEO4900 – Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics.

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

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

MEK1100 – Vector Calculus, MEK3230 – Fluid Mechanics

Overlapping courses


2 lectures/week, 1 group session every second week and 6 obligatory problem sets, which must be completed 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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:


Written midterm exam for 1/3 of the final grade, written final exam for 2/3 of the final grade.

Examination support material


Rottmann's mathematical formula collection.

Language of examination

Norwegian, English on demand. The students can submit their assignments in English or a Scandinavian language.

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.

GEF4900It 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: GEF3450 – Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (continued), GEO3900 – Atmosphere Ocean Dynamics (discontinued), GEO4900 – Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics,

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






Autumn 2017

This course continue in new code GEO4900 autumn 2018.


Autumn 2017

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)