GEO4430 – Snow, Snow Hydrology and Avalanches

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Choose semester

Course content


  • Accumulation of snow, field methods and snow mapping
  • Energy budget at the snow surface
  • Models of meltwater generation and runoff
  • Physical snow properties and snow metamorphism
  • Snow avalanches

Learning outcome

The objective is to give the students insight in hydrological and geotechnical problems related to snow.


The students will

  • understand the processes related to buildt-up and decay of snowcover
  • understand the processes controling snowpack stability
  • understand principles of the associated observation techniques
  • obtain insight into hydrological and geotechnical problems related to snow
  • understand principles of assessment techniques


The students will be able to

  • conduct snow surveys for hydrological as well as for geotechnical questions
  • apply standard modelling tools to assess snowmelt
  • apply standard methods to assess avalanche risk


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

HMS0504 – Field Safety OR MNHMS0015FS – Introduction to Field Safety (discontinued)

Recommended previous knowledge

Bachelor courses in physical geography; glaciology/geomorphology, geophysics.


Lectures and seminars. 3 days field trip.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address: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


A field report is obligatory and a pass/fail scale is applied. Admission to the final exam depends on the evaluation of the field report. The form of final exam depends on the number of students. If there are less than ca 10 students, the final exam will be oral. If there are more than ca 10 students, the final exam can be written. Written exam questions will only be available in English.

Language of examination

Written exam questions will only be available in 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.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Spring 2018


Spring 2018

Teaching language