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Vår 2023

GEO-3139 Snow Avalanche Science and Management - 10 stp

The course is administrated by

Institutt for geovitenskap

Type of course

This course is available as a single course.

Course contents

The course is about the technical aspects of snow avalanches from snow in the clouds, processes in the snowpack, avalanche formation, avalanche movements and dynamics, mitigation and avalanche forecasting. The course gives an understanding of all the physical processes of avalanches as a natural hazard, as well as management and mitigation strategies.The students learn about meteorology that leads to snow precipitation, physics of snow on the ground, snow mechanical behaviour and fracture mechanics, and avalanche release. The movement of avalanches will be described with the help of a simple block model. Statistical and dynamic avalanche models are used to describe avalanche runout, velocities and pressure. A review of mitigation measures and avalanche forecasting will demonstrate methods of avalanche risk management. The acquired knowledge will be applied in the assessment of avalanche hazard in selected settlements around Tromsø. Students will spend one week in the field visiting snow avalanche sites, study risk management for roads and study snow properties and processes in the mountains.

Application deadline

Applicants from countries within EU/EEA:: 1 December for the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 1 October for the spring semester.

UiT Students: 1 February for the spring semester.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree in geology, or a similar degree following a programme of study of at least three years, or similar education approved in accordance with the Norwegian Universities Act section 3-4. In addition, specialization in geology worth the equivalent of at least 80 ECTS credits is required. Normally, an average mark of C or better is required at the bachelor's degree level or other program for basis of admission.

Application code: 9371.

Obligatory prerequisites

MAT-0001 Calculus in Applicationsor FYS-0001 Applied physics

Objective of the course


The student has:


The student can:

General competence

The student can:

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course is in a block format and consists of two weeks of class time (70 hours) followed by a one-week excursion (40 hours). The students are expected to spend up to 25 hours outside of class working on their final report following the block weeks.

Date for examination

Off campus exam hand out date 20.03.2023 hand in date 14.04.2023

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced at your faculty early in May and early in November.