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UPSC Geology Optional

UPSC Mains Geology Syllabus PAPER – I

  1. General Geology:

The Solar System, Origin and interior of the earth and age of the earth, Meteorites; Volcanoes- causes and products, Volcanic belts; Earthquakes-effects, causes,  Seismic zones of India; Island arcs, trenches and mid-ocean ridges; Continental drifts; Plate tectonics; Seafloor spreading, Isostasy.

  1. Geomorphology and Remote Sensing:

Basic concepts of geomorphology; Weathering and soil formations; Slopes and drainage; Landforms, Geomorphic cycles and their interpretation; Morphology and its relation to structures and lithology; Applications of geomorphology in mineral prospecting, Coastal geomorphology; civil engineering; Geomorphology of the Indian subcontinent.  Hydrology and environmental studies; Aerial photographs and their interpretation- merits and limitations; The Electromagnetic spectrum; Orbiting satellites and sensor systems; Satellites data products, Indian Remote Sensing Satellites; Applications of remote sensing in geology; The Global Positioning System (GPS) and The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – its applications.

  1. Structural Geology:

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

  1. Paleontology:

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

  1. Indian Stratigraphy:

Classification of stratigraphic sequences: lithostratigraphic, chronostratigraphic, biostratigraphic and magnetostratigraphic and their interrelationships; Classification and Distribution of Precambrian rocks of India; Study of stratigraphic distribution . Study of  lithology of Phanerozoic rocks of India with reference to fauna, flora and economic importance; Major boundary problems- Precambrian, Cambrian Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous,Tertiary and Pliocene, Pleistocene; Study of climatic conditions, paleogeography and igneous activity in the Indian subcontinent in the geological past; Evolution of the Himalayas, Tectonic framework of India;

  1. Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology:

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


UPSC Mains Geology Syllabus PAPER – II

  1. Mineralogy:

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

  1. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:

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

  1. Sedimentary Petrology:

Sediments and Various Sedimentary rocks: Processes of formation; lithifi and cation digenesis; Clastic and non-clastic rocks their classification, petrography and depositional environment; Sedimentary facies and provenance; Heavy minerals and their significance; Sedimentary structures and their significance; Sedimentary basins of India.

  1. Economic Geology:

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

  1. Mining Geology:

Methods of prospecting-geological, geochemical , geophysical and botanical; Techniques of sampling; Estimation of reserves or ore; Methods of exploration and mining metallic ores, marine mineral resources , industrial minerals,  building stones; Mineral beneficiation and ore dressing.

  1. Geochemistry and Environmental Geology:

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

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