autumn 2020
GEO-3128 Marine geohazards - 5 ECTS

Last changed 31.12.2020

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the fall semester.

Applicants from outside the Nordic countries: 15 April for the fall semester.

Type of course

This course is available as a single course.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree in geology, or a similar degree following a programme of study of at least three years duration, or similar education approved in accordance with the Norwegian Universities Act section 3-4. In addition, specialization in geology worth the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits is required. Normally, an average mark of C or better is required at the bachelor's degree level or other programme for basis of admission.

Application code: 9371.

Course content

The course deals with marine geological processes that can pose a threat to human life and/or installations at sea and onshore. These processes includes topics such as slope stability and submarine slides, fluids in the subsurface (e.g. pockmarks, mud volcanoes, gas hydrates, CO2-storage, blowouts) and tsunamis generated from earthquakes (faults) and submarine slides. Examples from these topics are further explored through practical exercises.

Objectives of the course


The student has

  • detailed knowledge about the generation, propagation and run-up of tsunamis triggered from submarine slides and subduction zone faults.
  • detailed knowledge of the geotechnical parameters important for the stability of submarine slopes.
  • understanding of how fluids and fluid migration can affect the submarine surface.


The student can

  • calculate the factor of safety for a translational slide on the sea floor.
  • calculate the arrival time for a propagating tsunami and the amount of amplification of the run-up in a fjord/inlet.
  • evaluate pore pressure measurements.
  • use maps, and geological data from borings to evaluate the stability of a submarine slope.
  • provide an overview of geo-hazards that can be a danger to the production of offshore oil and gas.
  • understand how the source area of a tsunami can influence the wave characteristics of the propagating tsunami.

General competences

The student can

  • carry out the most important elements of geological research projects related to marine geo-hazards: understanding literature, make observations, analyze data, and communicate results to fellow students/scientists.
  • use data and geological knowledge to understand processes.
  • work independent and in a team.

Language of instruction and examination


Teaching methods

15 hours of lectures, 9 hours of practical exercises.


4 hours written exam that counts 100 % of the final grade.

Grading scale: Letter grades A-F, where F is fail. There will be a re-sit examination for students that did not pass the previous ordinary examination.

Compulsory learning activities

Admittance to the examination requires approved exercises.

  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: GEO-3128