UPSC » UPSC – Geology Syllabus

UPSC – Geology 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 Himalayas. 

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 province. 

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.