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UPSC Geologists Exam Syllabus 2020

Get information on UPSC Geologists Exam Syllabus 2020.

UPSC Geologists Exam


Candidate will be required to write a short Essay in English. Other questions will be designed to test their under standing of English and workmanlike use of words.


Section A : Geomorphology and Remote Sensing. Basic principles. Weathering and soils, Mass wasting. Influence of climate on processes. Concept of erosion cycles. Geomorphology of fluvial tracts, arid zones, coastal regions, ‘Karst’ landscapes and glaciated ranges. Geomorphic mapping,slope analysis and drainage basin analysis. Applications of geomorphology inmineral prospecting, civil engineering, hydrology and environmental studies.Topographical maps. Geomorphology of India.Concepts and principles of aerial photography and photogrammetry, satellite remotesensing — data products and their interpretation. Digital image processing. Remotesensingin landform and land use mapping, structural mapping, hydrogeologicalstudies and mineral exploration. Global and Indian Space Missions. GeographicInformation System (GIS) — principles and applications.

Section B : Structural Geology

Principles of geological mapping and map reading, projection diagrams. Stressstrain relationships of elastic, plastic and viscous materials. Measurement of strain in deformed rocks. Behaviour of minerals and rocks under deformation conditions. Structural analysis of folds, cleavages, lineations, joints and faults. Superposed deformation. Mechanism of folding and faulting. Time-relationship between crystallization and deformation. Unconformities and basement-cover relations. Structural behaviour of igneous rocks, diapirs and salt domes. Introduction to petrofabrics.

Section C : Geotectonics

Earth and the solar system, Meteorites and other extra-terrestrial materials, Planetary evolution of the earth and its internal structure. Heterogeneity of theearth’s crust. Major tectonic features of the Oceanic and Continental crust. Continental drift — geological and geophysical evidence, mechanics, objections,present status. Gravity and magnetic anomalies at Mid-ocean ridges, deep seatrenches, continental shield areas and mountain chains. Palaeomagnetism. Seafloor spreading and Plate Tectonics. Island arcs, Oceanic islands and volcanicarcs. Isostasy, orogeny and epeirogeny. Seismic belts of the earth. Seismicity and plate movements. Geodynamics of the Indian plate.

Section D : Stratigraphy

Nomenclature and the modern stratigraphic code. Radioisotopes and measuring geological time. Geological time-scale. Stratigraphic procedures of correlation of unfossiliferous rocks. Precambrian stratigraphy of India. Stratigraphy of the Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic formations of India. Gondwana system andGondwanaland. Rise of the Himalaya and evolution of Siwalik basin. DeccanVolcanics. Quaternary Stratigraphy. Rock record, palaeoclimates andpalaeogeography.

Section E : Palaeontology

Fossil record and geological time-scale. Morphology and time-ranges of fossil groups. Evolutionary changes in molluscs and mammals in geological time. Principles of evolution. Use of species and genera of foraminifera and echinodermata in biostratigraphic correlation. Siwalik vertebrate fauna andGondwana flora, evidence of life in Precambrian times, different microfossil groupsand their distribution in India.


Section A : Mineralogy

Physical, chemical and crystallographic characteristics of common rock forming silicate mineral groups. Structural classification of silicates. Common minerals of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Minerals of the carbonate, phosphate, sulphideand halide groups. Optical properties of common rock forming silicate minerals, uniaxial and biaxialminerals. Extinction angles, pleochroism, birefringence of minerals and theirrelation with mineral composition. Twinned crystals. Dispersion. Application ofuniversal stage (4 axes/5 axes) in determining optical properties.

Section B : Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology

Forms, textures and structures of igneous rocks. Silicate melt equilibria, binary and pernery phase diagrams. Petrology and geotectonic evolution of granites, basalts, andesites and alkaline rocks. Petrology of gabbros, kimberlites,anorthosites and carbonatites. Origin of primary basic magmas.Textures and structures of metamorphic rocks. Regional and contact metamorphismof pelitic and impure calcareous rocks. Mineral assemblages equilibrium/Reactiontextures and geo-thermo barometry. Experimental and thermodynamic appraisalof metamorphic reactions. Characteristics of different grades and facies ofmetamorphism. Metasomatism and granitization, migmatites. Plate tectonics andmetamorphic zones. Paired metamorphic belts.

Section C : Sedimentology

Provenance and diagenesis of sediments. Sedimentary textures. Framework matrix and cement of terrigenous sediments. Definition, measurement and interpretationof grain size. Elements of hydraulics. Primary structures, palaeocurrent analysis.Biogenic and chemical sedimentary structures. Sedimentary environment andfacies. Facies modelling for marine, non-marine and mixed sediments. Tectonicsand sedimentation. Classification and definition of sedimentary basins, Sedimentarybasins of India. Cyclic sediments. Seismic and sequence stratigraphy. Purposeand scope of basin analysis. Structure contours and isopach maps.

Section D : Geochemistry

Earth in relation to the solar system and universe, cosmic abundance of elements. Composition of the planets and meteorites. Structure and composition of earth and distribution of elements. Trace elements. Elementary crystal chemistry andthermodynamics. Introduction to isotope geochemistry. Geochemistry ofhydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. Geochemical cycle and principles of geochemical prospecting.

Section E : Environmental Geology

Concepts and principles. Natural hazards — preventive/precautionary measures — floods, landslides, earthquakes, river and coastal erosion. Impact assessment of anthropogenic activities such as urbanization, open cast mining and quarrying,river-valley projects, disposal of industrial and radio-active waste, excesswithdrawal of ground water, use of fertilizers, dumping of ores, mine waste andfly-ash. Organic and inorganic contamination of ground water and their remedialmeasures. Soil degradation and remedial measures. Environment protection — legislative measures in India.


Section A : Indian mineral deposits and mineral economics Occurrence and distribution in India of metalliferous deposits — base metals,iron, manganese, aluminium, chromium, nickel, gold, silver, molybdenum. Indiandeposits of non-metals — mica, asbestos, barytes, gypsum, graphite, apatiteand beryl. Gemstones, refractory minerals, abrasives and minerals used in glass,fertilizer, paint, ceramic and cement industries. Building stones. Phosphoritedeposits. Placer deposits, rare earth minerals.Strategic, critical and essential minerals. India’s status in mineral production.Changing patterns of mineral consumption. National Mineral Policy. MineralConcession Rules. Marine mineral resources and Law of Sea.

Section B : Ore genesis

Ore deposits and ore minerals. Magmatic processes of mineralisation. Porphyry, skarn and hydrothermal mineralisation. Fluid inclusion studies. Mineralisation associated with — (i) ultramafic, mafic and acidic rocks, (ii) greenstone belts, (iii)komatiites, anorthosites and kimberlites and (iv) submarine volcanism. Magmarelatedmineralisation through geological time. Stratiform and stratabound ores.Ores and metamorphism — cause and effect relations.

Section C : Mineral exploration Methods of surface and subsurface exploration, prospecting for economic minerals — drilling, sampling and assaying. Geophysical techniques — gravity, electrical, magnetic, airborne and seismic. Geomorphological and remote sensing techniques.Geobotanical and geochemical methods. Borehole logging and surveys for deviation.

Section D : Geology of fuels Definition, origin of coal. Stratigraphy of coal measures. Fundamentals of coal petrology, peat, lignite, bituminous and anthracite coal. Microscopic constituents of coal. Industrial application of coal petrology. Indian coal deposits. Diagenesis of organic materials. Origin, migration and entrapment of natural hydorcarbons. Characters of sourceand reservoir rocks. Structural, stratigraphic and mixed traps. Techniques ofexploration. Geographical and geological distributions of onshore and offshorepetroliferous basins of India. Mineralogy and geochemistry of radioactive minerals. Instrumental techniques ofdetection and measurement of radioactivity. Radioactive methods for prospectingand assaying of mineral deposits. Distribution of radioactive minerals in India.Radioactive methods in petroleum exploration — well logging techniques. Nuclearwaste disposal — geological constraints.

Section E : Engineering Geology Mechanical properties of rocks and soils. Geological investigations for river valley projects — Dams and reservoirs; tunnels — types, methods and problems. Bridges — types and foundation problems. Shoreline engineering. Landslides —classification, causes, prevention and rehabilitation. Concrete aggregates —sources, alkali-aggregate reaction. Aseismic designing — seismicity in India andearthquake-resistant structures. Problems of groundwater in engineering projects. Geotechnical case studies of major projects in India.


Section A: Origin, occurrence and distribution of water Origin of water: meteroic, juvenile, magmatic and sea waters, Hydrologic cycle: precipitation, runoff, infiltration and evapotranspiration, Hydrographs. Subsurfacemovement and vertical distribution of groundwater, Springs, Classification ofaquifers, Concepts of drainage basin and groundwater basin. hydrologicalproperties of rocks – specific yield, specific retention, porosity, hydraulicconductivity, transmissivity, storage coefficient, water table fluctuations –causative factors, concept of barometric and tidal efficiencies, water table contourmaps, Classification of rocks with respect to their water bearing characteristics, Hydro-stratigraphic units, Groundwater provinces of India, Hydrogeology of andZones of India, wet lands.

Section B: Well hydraulies and well design Theory of groundwater flow, Darey’s Law and its applications, determination of permeability in laboratory and in field, Types of wells, drilling methods, construction, design, development and maintenance of wells, specific capacity and its determination. Unconfined, confined, steady, unsteady and radial flow conditions, Pumps tests – methods, data analysis and interpretation for hydrogeologic boundaries, Evaluation of aquifer parameters using Thiem, Theis, Jacob and Walton methods, Groundwater modeling – numerical and electrical models.

Section C: Groundwater chemistry Groundwater quality – physical and chemical properties of water, quality criteria for different uses, graphical presentation of water quality data, groundwater quality in different provinces of India – problems of arsenic and fluoride, Saline water intrusion in coastal and other aquifers and its prevention, Radioisotopes in hydrogeological studies, Groundwater contamination.

Section D: Groundwater exploration Geological – lithological and structural mapping, fracture trace analysis, Hydrogeological – lithological classification with respect of hydrologic properties,Hydraulic continuity in relation to geologic structures, Location of springs Remotesensing – hydrogeomorphic mapping of the terrain using different images of differentsatellite missions, lineament mapping, shallow groundwater potential zone mappingusing satellite images, Surface geophysical methods – seismic, gravity, geoelectricaland magnetic, Subsurface geophysical methods – well logging fordelineation of aquifers and estimation of water quality.
Section E: Groundwater problems and management. Groundwater problems related to foundation work, mining, canals and tunnels,Problems of over exploitation and groundwater mining. Groundwater developmentin urban areas and rain water harvesting, Artificial recharge methods, Groundwaterproblems in arid regions and remediation. Groundwater balance and methods ofestimation. Groundwater legislation. Sustainability criteria and managing renewableand nonrenewable groundwater resources.

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