Data Analysis in Meteorology and Oceanography

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course provides a basic introduction to statistical methods commonly applied in the analysis of observed and simulated quantities in oceanography and meteorology. This includes descriptive statistics to quantify properties of a data set and inferential statistics to test hypotheses and make inferences about unknown aspects of a population and their uncertainties. The course further contains specific methods for analysis of spatial data and time series such as empirical orthogonal functions, frequency analysis, and filtering. The theory will be applied to geophysical problems.

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:

  • knows how to compute and assess basic statistical properties of a data set
  • knows how to select and apply appropriate statistical models to infer properties about a population, including estimates of uncertainty, based on a sample of data
  • knows the strengths and limitations of different methods of analysis commonly applied to geophysical problems


The student:

  • can prepare and organize observational and model data for statistical analysis
  • can compute correlations and regressions between time series
  • can test hypotheses and estimate confidence intervals
  • can deduce the spatial structure of data
  • can determine the frequency spectrum of a time series and apply appropriate filters
  • can interpret and make figures and diagrams
  • can perform analysis on large data sets using a state of the art programming language

General competence

The student:

  • is able to apply statistical methods to analyze geophysical data
  • is able to synthesize and present the results of the analysis in a scientific report

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Bachelor and master

Semester of Instruction


Enrolment to this course is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 33 for the autumn semester. Please see this page for more information:

It is compulsary to attend the first lecture.

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
GEOF105 Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean or equivalent.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
STAT110, MAT121 or equivalent.
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
3 hours lecture per week. Excercises 2 hours per week
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Approved project assignment.

The project assignment is valid for the semester in which it is approved and for three subsequent semesters.

Forms of Assessment
Written exam (4 hours)
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 July 1st for the autumn semester and January 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.
Examination Support Material
Non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations.
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Geophysical Institute