Undergraduate course

Palaeomagnetic Methods

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeGEOV211
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish if english-speaking students attend the seminars, otherwise Norwegian
  • Resources

Teaching semester

Autumn. The course runs only if enough students enrol

Objectives and Content

The aim of the course is to introduce students to the most important methods used in palaeomagnetic and rock magnetic analysis of rocks and sediments, and their application to geologic, geophysical and environmental problems. The course also provides more general training in presenting, analysing, interpreting and writing about scientific data.

The course consists of eight separate exercises designed to give an introduction to different methods and instruments. Prior to each exercise relevant theory and background material is presented as a basis for the laboratory work and subsequent data analysis, interpretation and report writing. Central themes include measuring magnetic remanence vectors, demagnetization and directional analysis, susceptibility and magnetic fabric, as well as identification of magnetic minerals and their domain state.

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 basic theory relevant for ferromagnetic and paramagnetic minerals and magnetization processes in rocks
  • explain the connection between different magnetic parameters, grain size, environment and magnetic mineral content

The student can

  • use the most common instruments for paleomagnetic- and rock magnetic analysis
  • analyse magnetic remanence directions and interpret them in a tectonic or stratigraphic context
  • identify the most common magnetic minerals in rocks and sediments on the basis of different laboratory analyses
  • measure magnetic fabric and interpret the results in terms of sedimentary, magmatic or tectonic processes

General competence
The student can

  • present measurement data through tables and figures, and analyse and interpret the results in a written report
  • assess the reliability of data from measurements, and take possible sources of error into account when interpreting results

Required Previous Knowledge


Recommended Previous Knowledge


General knowledge of geology and the physics of the Earth

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

16 hours of lectures (2 hours/week)

32 hours of laboratory exercises (4 hours/week)

8 hours of seminars (1 hour/week)

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Compulsory laboratory course.

Forms of Assessment

The forms of assessment are:
Laboratory journal (70%) and final oral examination (30%)

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

Assessment is only provided in semesters with teaching.

Reading List

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


Contact Information

The student coordinator can be contacted here:


Tlf 55 58 35 19

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. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Portfolio assesment and written examinat

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Written examination