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GE488 Natural Hazards

Course description for academic year 2019/2020

Contents and structure

This course provides the students with insights into different kinds of geohazards such as landslides, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and asteroid/meteorite impacts. The main focus is on gravitational mass movements, and the students will gain a broad understanding of rock falls, debris flows, quick clay slides and snow avalanches. Examples of these phenomena are investigated further during practical exercises. An important part of the training aims to enable the students to recognize the potential danger of geohazards in a given area.

Learning Outcome


Students gain knowledge about

- the processes that create landslides, avalanches, flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and asteroid/meteorite impacts and how they interplay and propagate.

- how geohazards can affect infrastructure and people.

- different types of landslides and avalanches, the slide processes and trigger mechanisms.

- how climate change can affect the frequency and extent of flooding, landslides and avalanches.



Students will be able to:

- understand the content of reports and articles dealing with geohazards.

- conduct basic assessments of the potential danger and extent of landslides and avalanches, based on the analysis of maps, databases and available reports.


General qualifications:

Students will be able to:

- communicate with geologists and the general public about geohazards.

- identify and specify potential geohazards in a given area.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge


Teaching methods

Lessons, assignments and excursions



Two days in the field at different locations in Sogn/Nordfjord, where students investigate rock fall deposits, debris flow channels, snow avalanche fans, flood damage, unstable/slide-prone slopes.

Compulsory learning activities

- Approved reports from the following assignments: Tsunamis, Earthquakes, Slides and Floods.

- Approved excursions and associated field reports.


Individual 4 hrs written exam

Grading A-F

Examination support material



More about examination support material