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AL1300 Earth Science and Land Use in Practice 7.5 credits

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Headings with content from the Course syllabus AL1300 (Spring 2021–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course consists of lectures, exercises, laboratory exercise and a field excursion

The course includes landforms and landscape structures as functions of recent and previous geological processes, position, behavior and physical and chemical (mineralogical) characteristics of soil materials. Particular importance is attached to the structural composition of bedrock and soil layers and changes in soil and rock characteristics in the short and long term. Basic knowledge of the geological conditions in Sweden are and the utilization of earth material. Particular emphasis is given to soil and rock investigation methodology and skills in the interpretation and analysis of spatial data (maps and diagrams). The exercises in this section cover basic knowledge of minerals, soils and rocks as well as interpretation of geological data.

The course covers knowledge of the hydrological cycle and its components and terminology, methods for calculating flows and water balances, basic statistical analysis of hydrological data, basic knowledge of soil water retention characteristics, soil water movement in saturated and unsaturated conditions and the pore water pressure.

Furthermore, the course covers the soil and rock material's technical characteristics, especially the soil mechanical properties. The course also covers methods for ground improvement, execution and interpretation of geotechnical investigations, as well as landslide risk assessment in development planning.

Intended learning outcomes

The course gives basic knowledge in general and applied geology, hydrology/hydrogeology and basic principles and applications within soil science for construction and water, sewage and energy systems. Further, examples of geotechnical applications within the built environment are included.

After completing the course students will be able to:

  • describe the physical and chemical properties (including knowledge of soil mineralogical composition and classification criteria for soils and rocks)

  • explain how previous and ongoing geological and hydrogeological processes impact on landscape development and its long-term sustainable use.

  • describe the three-dimensional structure and general stratification of Scandinavian soils

  • describe different soil and rock material's technical characteristics and use

  • describe the hydrological cycle

  • describe the presence of soil- and groundwater and make simple calculations of groundwater and surface water flow

  • make general water balance calculations

  • interpret hydrological data and make simple statistical calculations based on these

  • possess theoretical knowledge of soil mechanics as the basis for the description of the soil material strength and geotechnical applications

  • account for different ground improvement methods

  • generally interpret existing geological and geotechnical data

  • make landslide risk assessment in development planning

Course disposition

No information inserted

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

No information inserted

Recommended prerequisites

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No information inserted


Meddelas innan kursstart.

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • TEN1 - Written Examination, 5.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • ÖVN1 - Exercises and Excurstion, 2.5 credits, grading scale: P, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Other requirements for final grade


Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

No information inserted

Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web AL1300

Offered by

Main field of study


Education cycle

First cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Katti Grünfeld (