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Table of Contents

1. Course title

Lumen ja jään geofysiikka
Geofysik av snö och is
Geophysics of Snow and Ice


2. Course code


Aikaisemmat leikkaavat opintojaksot 53568 Lumen ja jään geofysiikka, 5 op

3. Course status: compulsory

-Which degree programme is responsible for the course?
Master's Programme in Atmospheric Sciences

-Which module does the course belong to?
ATM300 Advanced Studies in Atmospheric Sciences (compulsory for Study Track in Geophysics of the Hydrosphere)

-Is the course available to students from other degree programmes?

4. Course level (first-, second-, third-cycle/EQF levels 6, 7 and 8)

Master’s level, degree programmes in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine = secondcycle
degree/EQF level 7
Doctoral level = third-cycle (doctoral) degree/EQF level 8

-Does the course belong to basic, intermediate or advanced studies (cf. Government Decree
on University Degrees)?
Advanced studies

5. Recommended time/stage of studies for completion

-The recommended time for completion may be, e.g., after certain relevant courses have
been completed. 2nd or 3rd year, no specific course requirements in advance

6. Term/teaching period when the course will be offered

-The course may be offered in the autumn or spring term or both. Spring term in general, (but 2017-2018 autumn)
-If the course is not offered every year, this must be indicated here. Every 2n year, Autumn 2017, Spring 2019, Spring 2021....
-Specification of the teaching period when the course will be offered. III (in 2017 autumn it is II)

7. Scope of the course in credits

5 cr

8. Teacher coordinating the course


9. Course learning outcomes

The course covers the physics of the world's cryosphere. This begins from the structure of ice crystal structure and properties of Ice Ih, which is the form of ice in Earth's nature. Then the different ice and snow fields are introduced: snow, glaciers and ice sheets, lake and river ice, sea ice, and ice in ground. The course also makes a two-day field exercise in Lammi biological station to learn field techniques. At the end the students will know the physical properties of snow and ice in nature and understands the links of snow and ice to other fields geophysics and climate. Practical issues are included due to their importance in living conditions in Finland.After the course students are able to:

  1. Explain the general characteristics of snow and ice, their similarities and differences.
  2. Resolve mathematically physical problems related to snow and ice.
  3. Describe how snow and ice interact with the other components of hydrosphere, amosphere, and with the entire climate system.
  4. Address questions such as: how important are snow and ice to ecosystems and society; what is the future of snow and ice?

10. Course completion methods

The course consists of lectures, mathematical exercises and field exercise. At least 1/3 of the exercises must be completed. The field exercise can be compensated by laboratory work and report. Written exam is organised after the course.

11. Prerequisites

Advanced undergraduate studies or BSc in natural sciences.

12. Recommended optional studies

The first course in hydrology is recommended.

13. Course content



  1. Structure and properties of Ice Ih
  2. Seasonal snow cover
  3. Glaciers and ice sheets
  4. Frozen ground
  5. Lake ice Snow
  6. Lake and river ice
  7. Sea ice
  8. Frozen ground
  9. Glaciers

14. Recommended and required literature

Required literature: Snow and ice geophysics (lecture notes)Lecture notes

Recommended literature:

Colbeck, SLeppäranta M. (19802015) Dynamics Freezing of snow lakes and the evolution of their ice masses. Academic Press.Wadhams, P. (2000) Ice in the oceancover.

Thomas D.N. (2017) Sea ice.

Leppäranta , M. (20152011) Freezing of lakes and the evolution of their ice coverThe drift of sea ice.

Cuffey K. & Paterson W.S.B.    (2010) The physics of glaciers.

15. Activities and teaching methods in support of learning

Lectures and exercises. The student have home work , exercises, laboratory work and a field trip. Students will have mathematical exercises and they do fieldwork and write a field report based on fieldwork.

16. Assessment practices and criteria, grading scale

Exam, report and exercises. Grading 1-5.

17. Teaching language.