GEOG2020 - Geophysical and biological natural hazards


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination
Grade: Letters

Evaluation form Weighting Duration Examination aids Grade deviation
Assignment 40/100
Written examination 60/100 4 hours D

Course content

This course will provide students with an introduction to natural hazards and their major drivers over a range of time scales spanning past, present, and future periods. It will bridge geophysical and biological natural hazards on a global scale, including volcanism, seismicity, tsunamis, extreme weather events, rapid changes in the ocean chemistry, shutdown of the thermohaline circulation, slope instability, pollution and loss of biodiversity. Special emphasis will be placed on the Scandinavian alpine, polar, and boreal environments, zooming in on examples and mitigation measures of flooding, landslides, glacial lake outburst floods, mass extinction, and invasive species.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course, students will:
- be able to define and describe geophysical and biological natural hazards;
- have introductory knowledge of geological and archeological records of past natural hazard events, be able to recognize these in a field setting (virtual and/or real), and understand how such records are used to assess modern risks;
- critically evaluate the potential impacts of climate change and pollution on natural hazards in Scandinavia and worldwide;
- have introductory knowledge about different types of models that are currently used to predict future natural hazard events.

- recognize the signs of impending natural hazard events;
- evaluate which landscape elements, environmental conditions and human activities increase the likelihood of future natural hazard occurrences and why;
- assess the causes and effects of different natural hazards and discuss potential mitigation measures;

General competence:
- Students will be able to recognize factors that are critical to risk assessment and management of natural hazards in Norway and worldwide.

Learning methods and activities

Up to 28 hours lectures and 10 hours seminar. Please note that mandatory activities and lectures may start prior to the registration deadline. Teaching will only be given if a sufficient number of students register for the course and if the Department has sufficient teaching resources. See for the most recent information on the courses not offered. Information will be made available no later than 10 January in the spring semester and 10 August in the autumn semester.

Compulsory assignments

  • In class quizzes.

Further on evaluation

The examination consists of two parts, a 4 hour written examination (worth 60% of the final grade) and up to 2 graded assignments (worth 40% of the final grade). All parts of the exam have to be submitted and graded E or better in order to pass the course. It is possible to retake parts of the exam. The written examination is offered both semesters. The assignment can only be taken in the semester the course is taught. Candidates wishing to retake the assignment part of the exam must register for classes and examination.

Specific conditions

Exam registration requires that class registration is approved in the same semester. Compulsory activities from previous semester may be approved by the department.

Required previous knowledge


More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  15.0 SP
Study level: Intermediate course, level II


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2021

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Geography
  • Social Sciences
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Geography



Examination arrangement: Assignment and Written examination

Term Status code Evaluation form Weighting Examination aids Date Time Digital exam Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 40/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 40/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Autumn ORD Written examination 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 60/100 D INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

More on examinations at NTNU