Geology Optional UPSC Syllabus

Geology Optional-Syllabus


1. General Geology :
The Solar System, meteorites, origin and interior of the earth and age of earth;
Volcanoes—causes and products, Volcanic belts. Earthquakes—causes, effects, seismic of zone of
India; Island arcs, trenches and mid-ocean ridges; Continental drift; Seafloor spreading, plate
tectonics. Isostasy.

2. Geomorphology and Remote Sensing :
Basic concepts of geomorphology. Weathering and soil formations; Landforms, slopes and
drainage. Geomorphic cycles and their interpretation. Morphology and its relation to structures
and lithology; Coastal geomorphology; Applications of geomorphology in mineral prospecting,
civil engineering; hydrology and environmental studies; Geomorphology of Indian sub-continent.
Aerial photographs and their interpretation—merits and limitations; The Electromagnetic
spectrum. Orbiting
Satellites and Sensor Systems. Indian Remote Sensing Satellites. Satellite data products;
Applications of remote sensing in geology; The Geographic Information System (GIS) and
Global Positioning System (GPS)—its applications.

3. Structural Geology :
Principles of geologic mapping and map reading, projection diagrams, Stress and strain ellipsoid
and stress-strain relationships of elastic, plastic and viscous materials; Strain markers in
deformed rocks. Behaviour of minerals and rocks under deformation conditions. Folds and
faults classification and mechanics; Structural analysis of folds, foliations, lineations, joints and
faults, unconformities; Time-relationship between crystallization and deformation.

4. Paleontology :
Species—definition and nomenclature; Megafossils and Microfossils. Modes of preservation of
fossils; Different kinds of microfossils; Application of microfossils in correlation, petroleum
exploration, paleoclimatic and paleoceanographic studies; Evolutionary trend in Hominidae,
Equidae and Proboscidae. Siwalik fauna.
Gondwana flora and fauna and its importance; Index fossils and their significance.

5. Indian Stratigraphy :
Classification of stratigraphic sequences: lithostrati-graphic, biostratigraphic,
chrono-stratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic and their interrelationships; Distribution and
classification of Precambrian rocks of India; Study of stratigraphic distribution and lithology of
Phanerozoic rocks of India with reference to fauna, flora and economic importance. Major
boundary problems—Cambrian/ Precambrian, Permian/Triassic, Cretaceous/Tertiary and
Pliocene/Pleistocene; Study of climatic conditions, paleogeography and igneous activity in the
Indian sub-continent in the geological past. Tectonic framework of India. Evolution of the

6. Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology :
Hydrologic cycle and genetic classification of water; Movement of subsurface water; Springs;
Porosity, permeability, hydraulic conductivity, transmissivity and storage coefficient,
classification of aquifers; Water-bearing characteristics of rocks; Groundwater chemistry. Salt
water intrusion. Types of wells. Drainage basin morphometry; Exploration for groundwater;
Groundwater recharge; Problems and management of groundwater; Rainwater harvesting;
Engineering properties of rocks; Geological investigations for dams, tunnels highways, railway
and bridges; Rock as construction material; Landslides causes, prevention and rehabilitation;
Earthquake-resistant structures.


1. Mineralogy :
Classification of crystals into systems and classes of symmetry; International system of
crystallographic notation; Use of projection diagrams to represent crystal symmetry; Elements of
X-ray crystallography.
Physical and chemical characters of rock forming silicate mineral groups; Structural classification
of silicates; Common minerals of igneous and metamorphic rocks; Minerals of the carbonate,
phosphate, sulphide and halide groups; Clay minerals.
Optical properties of common rock forming minerals; Pleochroism, extinction angle, double
refraction, birefringence, twinning and dispersion in minerals.

2. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology :
Generation and crystallisation of magmas. Crystallisation of albite—anorthite,
diopside—anorthite and diopside—wollastonite—silica systems. Bowen’s Reaction Principle;
Magmatic differentiation and assimilation. Petrogenetic significance of the textures and
structures of igneous rocks. Petrography and petrogenesis of granite, syenite, diorite, basic and
ultrabasic groups, charnockite, anorthosite and alkaline rocks. Carbonatites. Deccan volcanic
Types and agents of metamorphism. Metamorphic grades and zones; Phase rule. Facies of
regional and contact metamorphism; ACF and AKF diagrams; Textures and structures of
metamorphic rocks. Metamorphism of arenaceous, argillaceous and basic rocks; Minerals
assemblages. Retrograde metamorphism; Metasomatism and granitisation, migmatites. Granulite
terrains of India.

3. Sedimenary Petrology :
Sedimentas and Sedimentary rocks: Processes of formation; digenesis and lithification; Clastic
and non-clastic rocks-their classification, petrography and depositional environment;
Sedimentary facies and provenance. Sedimentary structures and their significance. Heavy
minerals and their significance. Sedimentary basins of India.

4. Economic Geology :
Ore, ore mineral and gangue, tenor of ore. Classification of ore deposits; Processes of formation
of mineral deposits; Controls of ore localisation; Ore texures and structures; Metallogenic epochs
and provinces; Geology of the important Indian deposits of aluminium, chromium, copper, gold,
iron, lead, zinc, manganese, titanium, uranium and thorium and industrial minerals; Deposits of
coal and petroleum in India, National Mineral Policy; Conservation and utilization of mineral
resources. Marine mineral resources and Law of Sea.

5. Mining Geology :
Methods of prospecting—geological, geophysical, geochemical and geobotanical; Techniques of
sampling. Estimation of reserves of ore; Methods of exploration and mining-metallic ores,
industrial minerals, marine mineral resources and building stones. Mineral beneficiation and
ore dressing.

6. Geochemistry and Environmental Geology :
Cosmic abundance of elements. Composition of the planets and meteorites. Structure and
composition of earth and distribution of elements. Trace elements. Elements of crystal
chemistry-types of chemical bonds, coordination number. Isomorphism and polymorphism.
Elementary thermodynamics.
Natural hazards—floods, mass wasting, costal hazards, earthquakes and volcanic activity and
mitigation; Environmental impact of urbanization, mining, industrial and radioactive waste
disposal, use of fertilizers, dumping of mine waste and fly-ash. Pollution of ground and surface
water, marine pollution. Environment protection—legislative measures in India; Sea level
changes: causes and impact.

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