Glacial geology and geomorphology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

Objectives: The course introduces periglacial processes and forms, glaciology, and glacial geological processes and landforms in solid rock and sediments. The effects glaciers and ice sheets have, and have had, on the formation of the landscape, such as mountains, valleys and fjords, are the central themes of the course. The aim is also that the students should be able to describe and classify the most important glacial deposition types and be able to prepare a Quaternary geological map and field report.

Content: The course starts with a field course in Western Norway, where sediments and landforms produced by glaciers are studied and mapped. The lectures provide an introduction to glaciers, mass balance, glacier motion and glacier hydrology. A short overview is given on other Quaternary landforms resulting from chemical and physical weathering, avalanches, and rivers. The description and interpretation of the sea level changes during and subsequent to the last ice age is also included in the subject. The glacial process of the Scandinavian ice sheet is presented, emphasising the course of deglaciation towards the end of the last ice age in Norway.

The assessment is based around a group research project including a group report and map from the field course, and two individual exercises in interpreting glaciated and glacierised landscapes.

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 key glaciological terms and definitions
  • explain small scale erosion and deposition forms
  • explain how glacial landscapes are formed
  • explain the genesis and classification of glacial deposition forms


The student can

  • make independent field observations
  • recognise geological processes and glacial geological erosion and accumulation forms
  • describe and interpret glacial erosion and deposition forms in the field
  • write an individual field diary/notebook
  • prepare and report field data in writing and display data graphically
  • justify interpretations
  • prepare a Quaternary geological map
  • interpret graphs and figures
  • conduct searches for relevant literature as well as refer to literature and set up reference/literature list

General competence 

The student can

  • use a precise geological language for describing and discussing geological processes and events
  • recognise, evaluate and communicate humanity's role in, our independence of, and impact on Earth systems and sustainability.
  • demonstrate the ability to work individually and ethically together with fellow students
  • conduct fieldwork on excursions in accordance with GEO/UiB's HSE guidelines

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


The subject has limited capacity. Info: 

Place of Instruction

Bergen, with a one week field course in Western Norway and a few day excursions.
Required Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

10 sp overlap with GEO111 (Geography) and GEOV106

5 sp overlap with UNIS course AG204

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 is in the form of lectures, classroom exercises, and a field course (one week in Western Norway).
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
The field class in Western Norway and the group report with map from fieldwork, a group presentation, and two further individual hand-in assignments.
Forms of Assessment
Portfolio assessment (no exam)
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F.
Assessment Semester
Assessment only in teaching semester.
Reading List
The reading list will be available by July 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.
Examination Support Material
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
Course Administrator
The Faculty for Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Earth Science has the administrative responsibility for the course and program