NIGB21018U Quantitative Problem-Solving in Geosciences

Volume 2021/2022

BSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience


The course starts with refreshing some important quantitative tools (e.g., derivatives, integrals, regression, etc.), and focuses for the most part on quantitative problem-solving in the context of - among other topics - crustal isostasy, fluid flow dynamics, Earth and planetary gravity fields, seismicity, plate tectonics, radioactive decay, ocean biogeochemical dynamics, coastal erosion, etc.

Learning Outcome


  • Crustal isostasy.
  • Planetary gravitation.
  • Seismicity and plate motions.
  • Radioactive decay.
  • Fluid dynamics.



  • Pose and handle quantitative problems related to the geoscientific topics above.
  • The overarching goal is to enable students to set up quantitative problems in order to i) make inferences of geological value from the analyses of geophysical data, and ii) obtain theoretical results that can be applied to other similar problems of geological interest.



This course aims at enabling students to understand the ways in which a problem of geological interest can be set up quantitatively and solved using various mathematical tools. This aims at enabling students to gain confidence in setting up larger quantitative problems through the use of computers, but keeping control of the quantitative aspects involved. The course also provides a context in which many of the geological processes already seen, or to be seen, in other courses occur.

Please see the Absalon course page.

It is recommended that students are familiar with the geoscientific topics covered in blocks 1-2 of the 1st BSc year (Planet Earth, Grundvand og rumlig data, Palæontologi, Mineralogi).
Class lectures, class exercises, homework assignments.
Since the exam format is a 4-hr written assignment, this course features a 3-hr trial-exam and feedback to students around the half-course point.
This course contains elements that fall into the categories of Quantitative methods, Statistics.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 150
  • Theory exercises
  • 28
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester

Continuous feedback is provided to students during the course - this is based primarily on the exercise sessions, and is done in the form of a collective feedback to the group of students during class time, as well as individual feedback during meetings for questions.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written examination, 4 hours under invigilation
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

The same as the ordinary exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See Learning Outcome.