GEO210 Quaternary Geology

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Mona Henriksen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.

About this course

Knowledge of our surficial deposits is important in connection with land-use planning, assessment of geohazards, and utilization of natural resources for various purposes, such as agriculture, forestry, building of roads, groundwater usage etc. The course deals with the natural climate changes and processes that have controlled the development of the Norwegian landscape through the Quaternary period. Emphasis is placed on how climate, ice ages and sea level changes have determined the properties and distribution of typical Norwegian surficial deposits such as glacial, marine, glacial river and river deposits. The theoretical teaching is supported by exercises where the student works with Quaternary geological problems, the use of Quaternary geological maps and profiles and the interpretation and understanding of various observations.

Learning outcome

After completing the course, you should have the following learning outcome:


  • describe the development of the natural climate changes in the Quaternary period and how they have contributed to the landscape and the surficial deposits in Norway
  • explain the properties of the different sediments and interpret their properties against different land use and geohazards
  • be able to account for the regional distribution of the different types of surficial deposits
  • have knowledge of how sediments, landforms and a selection of palaeodata can be used to reconstruct environmental, sea-level and climatic changes


  • be able to retrieve and interpret relevant information related to Quaternary environmental changes
  • summarise and synthesise relevant information of Quaternary environmental change
  • be able to develop and put forward reasoned arguments in written form

General competence:

  • be able to communicate key issues and Quaternary geology’s relevance to ongoing climate change.
  • Lectures, exercises/group work, seminars, excursions, semester assignment.
  • Through the course website on Canvas. The teacher will be available for questions during the office hours, and will supervise the group projects/term paper when inquired.
  • GEO100 Geology.
  • Total assessment:

    • Final written examination (3 hours) counts 70%.
    • Semester assignment in group counts 30%.

    Both parts must be passed. Grading system A-E / Not passed.

  • External examiner participates in preparing the examination questions and sensor guidelines in the course.
  • Excursion. Submissions with approval of excursion report and weekly exercises.
  • Lectures/exercises/seminars: 21 x 2 hours. Excursion: 1-2 days.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)