GEOG3528 - Earth Surface Evolution: field-based evidence and numerical modelling


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 looks at the Earth's inner and outer forces and how they affect and develop the Earth's surface through time based on the interpretation of empirical field data and indirect geophysical observations combined with process understanding through numerical modelling. The mutually beneficial relationship between field-based investigations and modelling in current research topics in physical geography will be demonstrated in lectures and by means of practical exercises. Examples of systems and processes covered include global perspectives on the mantle dynamics, plate tectonics, mountain building, global hydrological and erosion cycles, evolution of the climate system and biosphere, and surface energy budget.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course, students will:
- demonstrate competence in describing and applying a wide variety of data to diverse research problems in physical geography;
- be able to apply various statistical treatments to geophysical data to quantify errors, enable comparison with other datasets, and interpret results;
- be able to use these data to formulate scientific hypotheses and test them with simple numerical models;
- have an understanding of basic empirical modelling principles and model limitations.

By the end of the course, students will:
- be able to analyze and interpret empirical data relevant to local, regional, and global scale issues in physical geography across a range of timescales;
- be able to perform basic statistical analyses on observational data using MatLab;
- be able to apply simple models to explore underlying principles and processes in various Earth systems.
General competence:
By the end of the course, students will;
- have advanced knowledge on data collection techniques and empirically-based models related to the processes affecting Earth‘s surface and be able to communicate on this topic to both specialists and to the general public.
- demonstrate independent, critical thinking and apply their knowledge to current research problems in physical geography.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures up to 20 hours. Practical exercises: computer labs x 4 (8 hours) and student seminars (2 hours).

The compulsory assignment and the exam must be completed in English. Exceptions must be clarified with the lecturer responsible for the course.

Compulsory assignments

  • Presentation
  • Attendance of at least 4 of 5 practical exercises

Further on evaluation

The examination consists of two parts, a 4 hour written examination (worth 60% of the final grade) and practical 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.

Please note that mandatory activities and lectures may start prior to the registration deadline.

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

Bachelor's degree, preferable within the discipline of geography. Other relevant qualification can be accepted upon approval by the Department of Geography.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2020

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Geography
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
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Written examination 60/100 D
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