UPSC Geology Syllabus

Candidates preparing for UPSC civil services are asked to select an optional paper for which they wish to appear in the exam. Geology is one such paper that is selected by the candidates coming from different backgrounds. In order to prepare for this paper, the applicants need to know the detailed syllabus of the same. From this article, the interested candidates can find the complete UPSC Geology syllabus 2023. It is suggested to the candidates to gain familiarity with the syllabus before even starting preparation for the exam.

Geology Syllabus for UPSC exam 2023

The paper of geology is further divided into two sub papers- Paper I and Paper II carrying 250 marks each. Syllabus for both the papers is different and can be checked from below. Each and every topic mentioned here is important and must not be left by the candidates.

Syllabus for Paper I

  1. General Geology:

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

  1. Geomorphology and Remote Sensing:

Basic concepts of geomorphology, Satellite data products, Applications of remote sensing in geology, The Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS)- its applications, Weathering and soil formations, Landforms, slopes and drainage, Geomorphic cycles and their interpretation, Aerial photographs and their interpretation- merits and limitations, The Electromagnetic spectrum, Orbiting Satellites and Sensor Systems, Indian Remote Sensing Satellites, 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

  1. Structural Geology:

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

  1. Paleontology:

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

  1. Indian Stratigraphy:

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, Classification of Stratigraphy sequences: litho-stratigraphic, bio-stratigraphic, chrono-stratigraphic and magneto-stratigraphic 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

  1. Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology:

Rock as construction material, Landslides causes, prevention and rehabilitation, Earthquake-resistant structures, 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, Problems and management of groundwater, Rainwater harvesting, Engineering properties of rocks, Geological investigations for dams, tunnels highways, railway and bridges, Salt water intrusion, Types of wells, Drainage basin morphometry, Exploration for groundwater, Groundwater recharge

Syllabus for Paper II

  1. Mineralogy:

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,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

  1. Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology:

Bowen’s Reaction Principle, Magmatic differentiation and assimilation, Petrogenetic significance of the textures and structures of igneous rocks, Metamorphism of arenaceous, argillaceous and basic rocks, Minerals assemblages, Retrograde metamorphism, Metasomatism and granitisation, migmatites, Granulite terrains of India, Petrography and petrogenesis of granite, syenite, diorite, basic and ultra-basic groups, charnockite, anorthosite and alkaline rocks, Generation and crystallization of magmas, Crystallization of albite-anorthite, diopside-anorthite and diopside-wollastonite-silica systems, 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

  1. Sedimentary Petrology:

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

  1. Economic Geology:

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

  1. Mining Geology:

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

  1. Geochemistry and Environmental Geology:

Elements of crystal chemistry, types of chemical bonds, coordination number, Isomorphism and polymorphism, Cosmic abundance of elements, Composition of the planets and meteorites, Structure and composition of earth and distribution of elements, Trace elements, Elementary thermodynamics, Pollution of ground and surface water, marine pollution, Environment protection- legislative measures in India, Sea level changes: causes and impact 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

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