This course is discontinued

GEO4020 – Soil- and groundwater

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course gives an introduction to soil- and groundwater, and covers evapotranspiration, infiltration, soil-water, groundwater and water quality. Runoff generation and groundwater systems are presented with emphasis on dominating processes in a Nordic landscape.
Together with GEO2010 – Surface hydrology (continued) this course covers the water balance of the land surface and introducing the most important components of the hydrological cycle.

Learning outcome

You gain a basic understanding of the physical and chemical processes involved in the soil- and groundwater part of the hydrological cycle and to understand the link between precipitation and runoff response. In addition you get experience in the use of hydrological observations, laboratory work and basic hydrological calculations using Excel.


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If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

The course builds on knowledge equivalent to the first 3 semesters in the bachelor programs Nature and Environment (NAM) and Geosciences and Natural Resources (GEO) (in particular GEO2010 – Surface hydrology (continued)).


Lectures (2 hours a week) and exercises/seminar/laboratory (2 hours a week) over a period of 14 weeks. In addition two one-day excursions are included, one visit to NVE (introduction and lectures) and one field excursion collecting own data. Active participation of the student is expected, including oral presentation of a special topic (seminar), a written assignment that is based on data collected in the field and a laboratory rapport which must be approved. Digital learning modules are available for several of the topics included.


Written field report (15%), seminar presentation (15%), lab report (10%), and one written examination (3 hours) at the end of the semester (60%). All assessments have to be passed separately.

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.

Facts about this course






This course was taught for the last time autumn 2011. The bachelor version of the course GEO3020 – Soil- and groundwater (discontinued) is continued.

Teaching language