Geology is a popular subject for many aspirants. The subject has two papers – paper 1 and paper 2. The total marks for each paper are 250 marks, and the duration for each paper is three hours.
Aspirants targeting UPSC Exam may check the linked article.
Geology Syllabus For UPSC
Geology Syllabus For IAS (Paper-I)
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 zones of India; Island arcs, trenches and mid-ocean ridges; Continental drifts; 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 subcontinent. Aerial photographs and their interpretation-merits and limitations; The Electromagnetic spectrum; Orbiting satellites and sensor systems; Indian Remote Sensing Satellites; Satellites data products; Applications of remote sensing in geology; The Geographic Information Systems (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; Timerelationship 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: lithostratigraphic, biostratigraphic, chronostratigraphic 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 subcontinent 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; Ground-water 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; Geolo-gical investigations for dams, tunnels highways, railway and bridges; Rock as construction material; Landslides-causes, prevention and rehabilitation; Earthquake-resistant structures
Geology Syllabus For IAS (Paper-II)
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 crystallization of magmas; Crystallization of albite-anorthite, diopside-anorthite and diopside-wollastonite-silica systems; Bowen?s Reaction Principle; Magmatic differentation and assimilation; Petrogenetic significance of the textures and structures of igneous rocks; Petro-graphy 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.Sedimentary Petrology: Sediments and Sedimentary rocks: Processes of formation; digenesis and lithification; Clastic and non-clastic rockstheir 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 minerals and gangue, tenor of ore, classification of ore deposits; Process of formation of minerals deposits; Controls of ore localization; Ore textures and structu-res; 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 or 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 chemistrytypes 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.
Preparation tips for the Geology Subject
- Geology is not a popular choice of subjects as it demands a high level of specialised knowledge. So, candidates who have a background in the subject should ideally opt for it.
- Geology is not a subject that frequently overlaps with general study topics. SO candidates who are seeking an option to start afresh with the subject, solely for the purpose of examination should ideally choose a different optional.
- Previous statistics indicate that it is a highly scoring subject.
- At least eight hours of preparation every day for a minimum of five months is highly recommended.
- Each topic of study in the syllabus is very important in geology. No topic is to be left incomplete.
- The subject is easy to follow and understand all key topics, but difficult to comprehend with the vastness. Hence, balancing time with the depth of content is very important.
- Before beginning preparation with the actual syllabus, it’s wise to brush up all important topics from the graduation books.
- To prepare well for the exam, writing elaborate notes won’t help much. You can learn faster through flowcharts and answer relevant diagrams.
- Prepare good, informative short notes while studying. Short notes help in revision too.
- Reading through the reference material may be quite sufficient for the subject, as it isn’t too dynamic.
- Recent news about the subject, relevance with present scenarios also weighs more marks in the examination. Conduct research for the latest updates on a topic.
- Many topics need a reference from multiple sources to craft a good informative write up about the concerned topic.
- Memorise important factual data. There are a lot of such data in geology to be remembered.
- Every main topic ahs plenty of subtopics in geology. A candidate should ideally treat all sub-topics with equal importance.
- Include relevant diagrams and cite good examples to support your answers.
Suggestive books for geology preparation
- Book on ‘Trends in Objective Geology’ written by Aussif Sayeed
- A Text Book of Geology, written by P.K. Mukherjee
- Reference book on Concise Geology, written by P.K. Mukherjee
- Highly recommended reference book on ‘Geologic Settings and Petroleum Systems of India’s East Coast Offshore Basins : Concepts and Applications’ written and comprehended by Ravi,Bastia
- Reference on Geological Maps by D.K. Awasthi
- Book on ‘Delta Sedimentation: East Coast of India’ written in depth by Singh, I.B. & Swamy, A.S.R.
- Book on ‘Dimensions of Himalayan Geology’ written by Biyani and A.K.
- Reference book on ‘Early Man in Eastern Himalayas: North-East India and Nepal’ written thoroughly by Sharma and A. K.
- Ref. book on ‘Mineral Exploration: Recent Strategies’ by S. Rajendran.