Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Earth Structure and Processes

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 3
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsibles
  • Klaus Mosegaard (9-707276686a646475674371656c316e7831676e)
  • Thomas Mejer Hansen (5-7c756d706948766a7136737d366c73)
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Course number: NFYK15009U

Course content

The course will cover several aspects of the dynamics of the solid earth, concentrating on basic concepts and breaking problems down so that they can be solved analytically.  We will start with an introduction of plate tectonics as a framework for the problems that follow.  We will then introduce basic theory to analyse stress, strain, fluid flow, deformation in general, heat flow, gravity, and faulting.  Each of these theories will then be applied to simple problems, again emphasizing concepts.  More complex applications found in research articles will be discussed in class.

Learning outcome

This course aims to provide the student with skills to

  • solve equations of elasticity and flexure, as applied to the solid Earth
  • analyse fluid mechanics processes in the Earth
  • solve simple rock rheological problems
  • quantitatively analyze simple fracture and faulting processes
  • describe and analyze flow in porous media
  • describe heat transfer processes in the Earth


The course will give the students

  • a basic understanding of the physical processes in the Earth's interior


The students will be able to:

  • explain fundamental physical theories as applied to processes in the Earth.
  • critically evaluate physical models for concrete geological models.

Recommended prerequisites

Mathematical analysis, basic partial differential equations, linear algebra.


Restricted elective for the specialisation "Geophysics"

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MSc Programme in Physics
MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience


Study Board of Physics, Chemistry and Nanoscience

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


1 block


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Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and computer exercises




Turcotte and Schubert, Geodynamics. Cambridge University Press; 3 edition (April 7, 2014). Lecture notes on geodynamics.


Category Hours
Lectures 32
Practical exercises 16
Project work 90
Preparation 68
English 206


Type of assessment

Oral examination, 30 minutes
3 projects (group or individual) [weighed by 12.5%, 12.5% and 25%] followed by 1 individual oral examination [weighed by 50%]

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

see "skills"

Censorship form

No external censorship
several internal examiners


Same as ordinary exam. The student can choose to re-use points from projects handed in during the course, or make new projects.

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