GEOG3529 - Signatures of glaciations and climate evolution: From the Pliocene to the Anthropocene


New from the academic year 2020/2021

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 long-term evolution of the climate system through the prism of waxing and waning continental ice sheets and glaciers. Specifically, the students will be introduced to the realm of the Earth's inner and outer forces that drive changes in glacial and climate systems and how they affect and develop the Earth's surface (landscapes) through time. The course will highlight the links between changes in the Earth’s orbit, evolution of the ocean and atmosphere, inception and termination of glacial periods as well as crustal uplift and subsidence due to glacial isostasy and sea level changes. The mutually beneficial relationship between field-based investigations and modelling in current research topics in glaciology will be demonstrated in lectures, during the fieldwork and by means of practical exercises.

Learning outcome

By the end of the course, students will:
- be able to communicate knowledge about the processes driving climate evolution and glacial change to both specialists and to the general public.
- demonstrate competence in describing and applying a wide variety of empirical data to diverse research problems in glaciological and geomorphological research;
- be able to use these data to formulate scientific hypotheses and test them with simple numerical models and field investigations;
- have an understanding of basic empirical modelling principles and model limitations.

By the end of the course, students will:
- have basic experience with measurements of glacier geometries using ground penetrating radar and drones during the glaciological fieldwork in the Scandinavian mountains;
- be able to perform basic statistical analyses on field and meteorological data using MatLab;
- be able to apply simple models to explore underlying principles and processes in the glacial systems.

General competence:
By the end of the course, students will:
- have advanced presentation skills, improved ability to read and write scientific articles, and deeper understanding of the peer-review process.
- have experience with the preparation of a glaciological fieldwork, field data collection and model-based data interpretation.
- demonstrate independent, critical thinking and be able to apply their knowledge to the current research problems in glaciology and glacial geomorphology.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures up to 20 hours.
Practical exercises: computer labs x 4 (8 hours).
Glaciological fieldwork.
Student seminars (4 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

  • Mandatory attendance at pre-field lectures, fieldwork preparation, fieldwork and post-fieldwork

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

Limited admission to classes.

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:  SPRING 2021
Extraordinary deadline for course registration: 2020-12-01

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 *
Spring ORD Assignment 40/100
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"

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