This course is discontinued

GEO9800 – Earth and Planetary materials and dynamics

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course reviews our insights into the composition, structure, origin and evolution of Earth and the terrestrial planets. To obtain an integrated understanding, we extract information from the cross-disciplinary fields of cosmochemistry, geochemistry, mineralogy, seismology, geodynamics and comparative planetology.

Learning outcome

Background reading of selected research reports and review papers will be complemented by research of an assigned topic to be presented as part of the lecture and seminar series held in Oslo. The candidates should acquire in-depth knowledge and understanding of the following topics:

  • Composition and structure of the solar system
  • Accretion, core segregation and dynamic evolution of the terrestrial planets and asteroids
  • Seismological constraints on Earth’s structure
  • Geochemical models of planetary formation and evolution
  • Pressure-induced modification of mineral structures
  • High-pressure experimental methods
  • Phase relations of silicates, oxides, peridotite and basalt under mantle conditions
  • Phase relations of Fe-Ni-dominated alloys under core conditions
  • Mineral physics and seismic velocity models
  • Seismic tomography of the Earth’s mantle
  • The geodynamo and core-mantle interaction
  • Comparative planetology - the roles of plume and plate tectonics


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Recommended previous knowledge

A solid foundation in chemistry, thermodynamics, mineralogy, petrology and global geochemistry and geophysics is required.


This course was taught for the last time spring 2016.

Reading of selected research reports and review papers, lectures and seminar discussions.  Short oral presentation by the Ph.D.-candidates of an assigned topic as part of the lecture series.

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:


Oral presentation of the assigned topic counts 20 %. Home exam counts 80 %

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 pass/fail scale. 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 2016

The subject was taught for the last time Spring 2016.


Spring 2016

Teaching language