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GE486 Glacial Geology

Course description for academic year 2021/2022

Contents and structure

An introduction to the Quaternary (the last 2.588 mill. years) is presented with focus on how ice sheets and mountain glaciers grow and decline as a consequence of climate change and how the land and sea level have changed. We look at how glacier dynamics work (glaciology) and how glaciers change the landscape (glacial geology). The course also contains a short introduction to permafrost and geomorphological processes in cold regions.

Learning Outcome

After participating in the course, students

  • understand how the land and sea have changed throughout the Quaternary period
  • have a good understanding of glaciers and types of glaciers
  • have good knowledge about how glaciers formed our land
  • have basic knowledge about permafrost and periglacial processes

Students are able to:

  • conduct a Quaternary geology survey in the field and construct a Quaternary geology map
  • walk safely on a glacier

  • Student are able to apply knowledge and understanding of glacial and periglacial landforms as well as glacial sedimentary deposits

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

The course advances the general knowledge obtained on:

GE-406 Introduction to Geology

GE-436 Sedimentology

Teaching methods

Lectures, fieldwork and excursions

Compulsory learning activities

  • Participation in excursions
  • Accepted glacier course and journals from fieldwork and excursions


Oral examination, 15 minutes with 20 minutes preparation without any study aids.

Grade: A-F

Examination support material


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