Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Introduction to Marine and Terrestrial Quaternary Geology

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeGEOV110
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageNorwegian
  • Resources

Main content

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content

The course aims to give an introduction to marine and terrestrial Quaternary geology, focusing on climate, processes and depositions related to geological and climatic development of the Earth over the last few million years to present time. This stage of earth history is characterized by great oceanic, climate and environmental changes, with changes between ice ages and interglacial periods. The course provides knowledge of geological, atmospheric and oceanic processes, and the driving forces that have influenced this stage of earth history.

The course addresses topics such as the variation of oceanic circulation/water masses and wind systems during Quaternary, rebound of glaciated landmasses and sea level changes, changes in ice dynamics and ice extent, landscape development and formation of land forms and deposits, development of the ocean basins and our continental margins, focusing on marine archives and sedimentary processes. The course addresses basic methods and equipment and techniques typically used in exploration of both terrestrial and shallow marine areas, which emphasize methods of analysis, description and dating (age determination) of deposits in different sedimentary archives. The course will further disseminate how different Quaternary deposits are used to reconstruct the environment and climate of the past and to understand the process behind and the causes of the changes that have taken place. An important part of the course is practical exercises where the students themselves can work on different aspects of the learning outcomes.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student can

  • explain principle terms, definitions and theories
  • be able to account for the main features of the development history (marine and terrestrial) through the Quaternary period and to understand the main processes and underlying relationships of the major climate changes during this period
  • explain basic principles of ocean and atmospheric circulation and describe and discuss the development of the ocean basins (age and processes) and the driving forces behind, the consequences and importance of ocean sea-level changes in the geological archives
  • can describe glacial erosion and deposition forms and effects that glaciers and ice sheets have had on the development of the landscape, such as mountains, valleys, fjords and continental margins
  • explain the methods used to reconstruct and evaluate climate change (marine and terrestrial) and how it can be correlated/traced in geological archives
  • explain and justify the use of various marine and terrestrial archives for reconstruction of climate and environmental changes, and explain processes that work in the various depositional environments (marine and terrestrial)

The student can

  • design and use simple methods used for geological and geophysical data collection both at sea and on land and reconstruct simple glacial and climate changes
  • classify and exemplify the most important types of terrestrial and marine glacial landforms and understand their palaeo-glacial implications
  • compile and combine different geological archives and interpret and summarize observations/data/principles with graphs and figures with earth system data (e.g. seismic profiles, core data, isotope series, time series)
  • do simple searches for relevant Earth Science literature and data, as well as cite sources correctly

General competence
The student can

  • use a precise geological language to describe and discuss geological processes and events
  • explain and explain the regional and global climate developments over the last glacial-interglacial cycle and how it can be traced in geological archives
  • demonstrate the ability to function individually, in collaboration and ethically with others
  • accomplish laboratory and field work/cruise in alignment with GEO's/UiB's health and safety regulations

Required Previous Knowledge

Principles of geology and geophysics.

Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be given in the form of lectures, field trip and exercises.

Lectures 4 hours per week over 11 weeks

Exercises 2 hours per week over 11 weeks

Field, 1 day on marine cruise in the Week 38

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

2 hours exercises per week over 11 weeks; one (1) day field trip and a submission of field report. Field report and exercises must be approved to give access to take the written examination. Mandatory assignments are valid for 2 subsequent semesters.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:

Written examination, 4 hours. Digital exam, please visit: http://www.uib.no/en/student/87471/digital-assessment-students

Permitted tools: All calculators, according to the faculty regulations.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.

Reading List

The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Coordinator

The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Course Administrator

The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program


The student coordinator can be contacted here:


Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    15.02.2023, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam