UPSC: Geologist Examination - Revised Syllabus
1.The examination shall be conducted according to the following Plan :
Part I. - Written examination in the subjects as set out in para 2
Part II. - Interview/ Personality Test of such candidates as may be
called by the Commission,carrying a maximum of 200 marks.
2. The following will be the subjects for the written examination, for
selection to the post of Geologist, Geophysicist and Chemist Group 'A' in GSI
and Junior Hydro-geologist (Scientist 'B'), Group 'A' for Central Ground Water
|1. General English (common for all category)
|Category - 1 For the post of Geologist
|2. Geology Paper I
|3. Geology Paper II:
|4. Geology Paper III:
|Category - 2 For the post of Geophysicist
|2. Geophysics Paper I:
|3. Geophysics Paper II:
|4. Geophysics Paper III:
|Category - 3 For the post of Chemist
|2. Chemistry Paper I:
|3. Chemistry Paper II:
|4. Chemistry Paper III:
|Category - 4 For the Post of Jr. Hydrogeologist
|2. Geology Paper I
|3. Geology Paper II
Note I: Candidates competing for selection to the posts of Geologist,
Geophysicist, Chemist and Junior Hydrogeologist will be required to appear in
all the subjects mentioned against respective category above.
Note II: Candidates competing for selection for both the posts of
Geologist and Jr.Hydrogeologist will be required to appear in all the subjects
mentioned against Categories 1 and 4 above.
Note III : If any candidate failed to appear in any
one or more of above papers, meant for written examination for selection to the
post of Geologist, Geophysicist, Chemist, their candidature shall stand rejected
and part of written examination appeared by him/her shall not be evaluated and
counted for any purpose.
GEOLOGY – PAPER I : 200 Marks
Section A : Geomorphology and Remote Sensing.
Introduction : Development, Scope, Geomorphic concepts, Types
and Tools; Landforms: Role of Lithology, peneplaination, endogenous and
exogenous forces responsible, climatic and Tectonic factors and rejuvenation of
landforms; Denudational processes : Weathering , erosion, transportation,
weathering products and soils – profiles, types, duricrusts; Hillslopes : Their
characteristics and development, fluvial processes on hillslopes; River and
drainage basin: Drainage pattern, network characteristics, Valleys and their
development, processes of river erosion, transportation and deposition;
Landforms produced by geomorphic agents: Fluvial, Coastal , Glacial and Aeolian
landforms; Geomorphic indicators of neotectonic movements : Stream channel
morphology changes , drainage modifications, fault reactivation, Uplift –
subsidence pattern in coastal areas; Applied Geomorphology : Application in
various fields of earth sciences viz. Mineral prospecting, Geohydrology, Civil
Engineering and Environmental studies; Geomorphology of India: Geomorphical
features and zones
Electromagnetic radiation – characteristics, remote sensing
regions and bands; General orbital and sensor characteristics of remote sensing
satellites; Spectra of common natural objects – soil, rock, water and
vegetation. Aerial photos – types, scale, resolution, properties of aerial
photos, stereoscopic parallax, relief displacement; Principles of photogrammetry;
Digital image processing - characteristics of remote sensing data,
preprocessing, enhancements, classification; Elements of photo and imagery
pattern and interpretation, application in Geology; Remote sensing applications
in interpreting structure and tectonics, Lithological mapping, mineral
resources, natural hazards and disaster mitigation, groundwater potentials and
environmental monitoring. Landsat, Skylab, Seasat and other foreign systems of
satellites and their interpretation for geological and other studies; Space
research in India – Bhaskara and IRS systems and their applications, Thermal IR
remote sensing and its applications, Microwave remote sensing and its
applications. Principles and components of Geographic Information System (GIS),
remote sensing data integration with GIS, applications of GIS in various
Section B: Structural Geology
Principle of geological mapping and map reading, projection
diagrams. Stress-strain relationships for 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,
faulting and progressive deformation. Shear Zones: Brittle and ductile shear
zones, geometry and products of shear zones; Mylonites and cataclasites, their
origin and significance.Time relationship between crystallization and
deformation. Unconformities and basement-cover relations. Structural behaviour
of igneous plutons, diapirs and salt domes. Introduction to petrofabric
Section C: Geodynamics
Earth and its internal structure. Continental drift –
geological and geophysical evidence and objections. An overview of plate
tectonics including elementary concepts of plates, lithosphere, asthenosphere,
types of plate boundaries and associated important geological features like
oceanic trenches, volcanic arcs, accretionary wedges, topography of mid-ocean
ridges, magnetic anomaly stripes and transform faults. Gravity anomalies at
mid-ocean ridges, deep sea trenches, continental shield areas and mountain
chains. Palaeomagnetism and its application for determining palaeoposition of
continents. Isostasy, Orogeny and Epeirogeny. Seismic belts of the earth.
Seismiciy at plate boundaries. Principles of Geodesy, Global Positioning System
(GPS) and its application in crustal motion monitoring including neotectonics.
Palaeoposition of India and Geodynamics of the Indian plate.
Section D: Stratigraphy
Principles of Statigraphy : History and Development of
Statigraphy; Stratigraphic procedures (Surface and Subsurface); Concept of
Lithofacies and Biofacies; Stratigraphic Correlation (Litho, Bio- and
Chronostrarigraphic Correlation); Study of standard stratigraphic code (Lithostratigraphic,
Biostratigraphic and Chronostratigraphic); Concepts of Magnetostratigraphy,
Chemostratigraphy, Event stratigraphy, and Sequence 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 : Achaean stratigraphy
- tectonic frame-work, geological history and evolution of Dharwar, and their
equivalents; Easterghats mobile belt; Proterozoic stratigraphy -tectonic
framework, geological history and evolution of Cuddapahs and their equivalents.
Palaeozoic stratigraphy: Palaeozoic formations of India with special reference
to type localities, history of sedimentation, fossil content. Mesozoic
stratigraphy: Mesozoic formations of India with special reference to type
localities, history of sedimentation, fossil content. Cenozoic stratigraphy:
Cenozoic formations of India, Rise of the Himalayas and evolution of Siwalik
basin. Stratigraphic boundaries: Stratigraphic boundary problems in Indian
geology. Gondwana Supergroup and Gondwanaland. Deccan Volcanics. Quaternary
stratigraphy. Rocks record, palaeoclimates and palaeogeography.
Section E : Palaeontology
Evolution of the fossil record and the geological time scale.
Basic and functional morphology of major fossil groups. Species concept; Major
evolutionary theories ; Techniques in Palaeontology mega fossils- microfossils –
nannofossils , ichnofossils – collection, identification and illustration –
binomial Nomenclature; Invertebrate Palaeontology – A brief study of morphology,
classification, evolutionary trends and distribution of Bivalves, cephalopoda
and Gastropods, Echinoids, Corals and Brachiopods. Vertebrate Palaeontology –
Brief study of vertebrate life through ages. Evolution of reptiles and mammals;
Siwalik vertebrate fauna; Biodiversity and mass extinction events; evidence of
life in Precambrian times; Palaeontological perspective : Use of
palaeontological data in a) Stratigraphy b) Palaeoecology and evolution;
Introduction to Micropalaeontology; Types of Microfossils; Plant fossils:
Gondwana flora and their significance. Different microfossil groups and their
distribution in India; Application of palynology. Basic idea about statistical
application in palaeontology. Fundamentals of isotopic studies of fossils.
GEOLOGY – PAPER II : 200 Marks
Section A : Mineralogy and Geochemistry & Isotope Geology
External symmetry of crystals: Symmetry Elements, methods of
projection, derivation of 32 classes, Hermaun Muguin notation. Internal symmetry
of crystals: Derivation of 230 space groups, diffraction of crystals by X-rays,
Braggs’ law. Principles of optical mineralogy : Optical mineralogy, polarized
light, behaviour of isotropic and anisotropic minerals in polarized light,
refractive index, double refraction, birefringence, sign of elongation,
interference figures, 2V, dispersion in minerals. Optic sign, pleochroic scheme
and determination of fast and slow vibrations and accessory plates. Introduction
to mineralogy: Definition and classification of minerals. Structural and
chemical principles of crystals / minerals, chemical bonds, ionic radii,
coordination number (CN) and polyhedron. Structure, chemistry, physical and
optical characters and paragenesis of mineral groups: Olivine, pyroxene,
amphibole, mica and spinel groups; Feldspar, quartz, feldspathoid, aluminum
silicate, epidote and garnet groups. Accessory minerals: Apatite, calcite,
corundum, scapolite, sphene and zircon. Earth mineralogy: Average mineralogical
composition of crust and mantle, mineral transformations in the mantle with
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 and REE and
their importance in fractional crystallization during magmatic / partial
melting. Elementary crystal chemistry and thermodynamics. Introduction to
isotope geochemistry. Geochronology and age of the Earth: Law of Radioactivity;
Principles of isotopic dating, Decay schemes and Derivation of equation of age.
Rb/Sr, U- Th –Pb methods of dating the rocks. Age of the Earth. Geochemistry and
principles of evolution of hydrosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. Geochemical
cycle and principles of geochemical prospecting.
Section B : Igneous Petrology
Origin of magmas: Mantle, onset of partial melting of mantle,
processes of partial melting in mantle, mantle-magmas in relation to degree and
depth-level of partial melting. Phase equilibrium in igneous systems: Binary and
ternary systems. Bowen's reaction principle: Reaction series and its application
to petrogenesis. Magmatic evolution and differentiation: Fractional
crystallization, gravitational differentiation, gas streaming, liquid
immiscibility and assimilation. Structures and textures: Definition,
description, rock examples and genetic implications of common structures and
textures of igneous rocks. Classification of igneous rocks: Mode, CIPW norm,
IUGS and other standard classifications; Magmatism and tectonics:
Inter-relationship between tectonic settings and igneous rock suites. Igneous
rock suites: Form, structure, texture, modal mineralogy, petrogenesis and
distribution of Ultramafic rocks: Dunite-peridotite-pyroxenite suite;
kimberlites, lamprophyres, lamproites, komatiites; Basic rocks:
Gabbro-norite-anorthosite-troctolite suite, Dolerites; Basalts and related
rocks; Intermediate rocks: Diorite-monzonite-syenite suite; Andesites and
related rocks; Acidic rocks: Granite-syenite-granodiorite-tonalite suite;
Rhyolites and related rocks; Alkaline rocks: Shonkinite, ijolite, urtite,
melteigite, malignite, alkali gabbros, alkali basalt, alkali granite, alkali
syenite, nepheline syenite and phonolite; Carbonatites; Ophiolite suite.
Petrogenetic provinces : Continental areas:
Volcanic-Flood basalts-Tholeiites (Deccan Trap, Columbia River basalts); Layered
gabbroic intrusions: The Bushveld complex, Skaergaard intrusion, Still water
complex. Plutonic: Carbonatites and alkaline rock complexes of India; Oceanic
Rift valleys: MORB- Tholeiites-Ophiolites
Section C : Metamorphic Petrology & Processes
Concepts and Theory: Types of Metamorphism and their
controlling factors; Common minerals of metamorphic rocks; Field observations,
petrographic classification of common metamorphic rocks; Metamorphic facies and
facies series. Effects of Metamorphism : Phase diagrams and graphic
representation of mineral assemblages; Prograde and retrograde metamorphism,
Matasomatism; Deformation textures and textures related to recrystallization;
Metamorphic reactions, elemental exchange and Pressure – Temperature conditions
of Isograds; Mineral assemblages equilibrium/ reaction textures and
geo-thermo barometry. Experimental and thermodynamic appraisal of metamorphic
reactions; Role of fluids in metamorphic reactions. Metamorphism types and
products: Regional and thermal metamorphism of pelitic rocks. Regional and
thermal metamorphism of basic and ultrabasic rocks; Regional and thermal
metamorphism of impure, silicious carbonate rocks; Metamorphism of Granitoides,
Charnockites and Migmatites. Metamorphism in space and time: Plate tectonics and
metamorphic processes; Paired metamorphic belts, Archaean and Proterozoic
terrains; Extraterrestrial Metamorphism (Impact and Shock Metamorphism);
Section D : Sedimentology
Provenance and diagenesis of sediments. Sedimentary textures.
Framework, matrix and cement of terrigenous sediments. Definition, measurement
and interpretation of grain size. Elements of hydraulics. Primary structures,
palaeocurrent analysis. Biogenic and chemical sedimentary structures.
Sedimentary environment and facies. Facies modeling for marine, non-marine and
mixed sediments. Tectonics and sedimentation. Classification and definition of
sedimentary basins. Sedimentary basins of India. Cyclic sediments. Seismic and
sequence stratigraphy. Purpose and scope of basin analysis. Stratum contours and
Section E : Environmental Geology and Natural Hazards
Fundamental concepts of Environmental Geology - it’s scope,
objectives, and aims. Earth’s thermal environment and Climates. Global warming.
Green house effect. Ozone depletion–Ice sheets and fluctuation in sea levels.
Concepts of ecosystem. Earth’s major ecosystems terrestrial and aquatic.
Meteorology as environmental science. Air Pollution, sources of pollution,
pollution due to dust and waste disposal. National and International standards.
Environmental health hazards. Mining, opencast, underground, disposal of
industrial and radio-active waste, dumping stacking, rehandling, management,
mineral processing, tailing ponds, acid mine drainage, siltation, case studies.
Mining below water table, mine water discharges, regional effects on water
regime. Noise levels- national standards, mining machinery, ill effects. Air
sampling techniques – respirable dust samplers, high volume air samplers,
personal sampling pumps, weather monitoring equipments, automatic recorders.
Elements of Environmental Impact Assessment – impacts, primary, secondary,
prediction, assessment, base-line data generation, physical, biological,
cultural, socioeconomic aspects. Carrying capacity based developmental planning
– Assimilative capacity – supportive capacity – Resource based planning –
Institutional strategies. Sustainable Developmental Planning - Applications of
GIS in Environmental Management.Environmental Legislations in India.
Concepts and principles: Natural hazards – preventive/
precautionary measures – floods, landslides, earthquakes, river and coastal
erosion. Distribution, magnitude and intensity of earthquakes. Neotectonics and
seismic hazard assessment. preparation of seismic hazard maps. Impact of seismic
hazards on long and short term environmental conditions. Mechanism of
landslides, causes of major floods, cyclones and storms. Deforestation and land
degradation. Coastal erosion, its causes and control of Geological hazards and
GEOLOGY – PAPER III : 200 MARKS
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. Indian deposits of non-metals – Diamond, mica, asbestos,
barytes, gypsum, graphite, apatite and beryl. Gemstones, refractory minerals,
abrasives and minerals used in glass, fertilizer, paint, ceramic and cement
industries. Building stones. Phosphorite deposits. Placer deposits, rare earth
minerals. Strategic, critical and essential minerals. India’s status in mineral
production vis a vis world scenario, Changing patterns of mineral consumption.
UNFC classification, National Mineral Policy. Mineral Concession Rules. Marine
mineral resources and Laws of Sea.
Section B: Ore genesis and Geophysics
Ore deposits and ore minerals. Magmatic processes of
mineralization. Porphyry, skarn and hydrothermal mineralization. Fluid inclusion
studies. Mineralisation associated with – (i) ultramafic, mafic and acidic rocks
(ii) greenstone belts (iii) komatiites, anorthosites and kimberlites and (iv)
submarine volcanism. Magma related mineralization through geological time.
Stratiform and stratabound ores. Ores and metamorphism – cause and effect
relations. Metallogeny and mineral belts. Interrelationship between geology and
geophysics - Role of geological and geophysical data in explaining geodynamical
features of the earth. General and Exploration geophysics - Different types of
geophysical methods; Gravity, magnetic, Electrical, Seismic - their principles
and applications. Geophysical field operations - Different types of surveys,
grid and route surveys, profiling and sounding techniques, scales of survey,
presentation of geophysical data. Application of Geophysical methods - Regional
geophysics, ore geophysics, engineering geophysics. Geophysical anomalies :
correction to measured quantities, geophysical, anomaly, regional and residual
(local) anomalies, factors controlling anomaly, depth of exploration. Integrated
geophysical methods - Ambiguities in geophysical interpretation, Planning and
execution of geophysical surveys.
Section C: Mineral exploration
Resource, reserve definitions; mineral resource in industries
- historical perspective and present. A brief overview of classification of
mineral deposits with respect to processes of formation in relation to
exploration strategies. Principles of mineral prospecting and exploration -
conceptualization, methodology and stages; sampling, subsurface sampling
including pitting, trenching and drilling, core and non-core drilling, planning
of bore holes and location of bore holes on ground. Core logging, geochemical
exploration- nature of samples anomaly, strength of anomaly and controlling
factors, coefficient of aqueous migration. Principles of reverse estimation,
density and bulk density, factors affecting reliability of reserve estimation,
reserve estimation based on geometrical models (square, rectangular, triangular
and polygon blocks ) regular and irregular grid patterns, statistics and error
estimation. Application of Geophysical techniques, Geomorphological and remote
sensing techniques and Geobotanical and geochemical methods. Application of
geostatistical techniques in Mineral Exploration.
Section D: Geology of fuels
Coal and its properties: Different varieties and ranks of
coal. Origin of coal. Coalification process and its causes. Lithotypes,
microlithotypes and macerals: their physical, chemical and optical properties.
Maceral analysis of coal: Mineral and organic matter in coal. Petrographical
methods and tools of examination. Fundamentals of coal petrology, concept of
coal maturity, peat, lignite, bituminous and anthracite coal. Application of
coal geology in hydrocarbon exploration. Applications of coal petrography.
Proximate and ultimate analyses. Indian coal & lignite deposits. Industrial
evaluation of coal characteristics with reference to coal classification.
Geology and coal petrography of different coalfields of India. Uses of
coal for various industries e.g. carbonization, liquefaction, power generation,
gasification and coal-bed methane production.
Origin, migration and entrapment of natural hydrocarbons.
Characters of source and reservoir rocks. Structural, stratigraphic and mixed
traps. Techniques of exploration. Geographical and geological distributions of
onshore and offshore petroliferous basins of India.
Mineralogy and geochemistry of radioactive minerals.
Instrumental techniques of detection and measurement of radioactivity.
Radioactive methods for prospecting and assaying of mineral deposits
Distribution of radioactive minerals in India. Radioactive methods in petroleum
exploration – well logging techniques. Nuclear waste disposal – geological
Section E : Engineering Geology
Geological studies and evaluation in planning, design and
construction of major civil structures. Elementary concepts of rock mechanics
and soil mechanics. Site investigation, characterization and roblems related to
civil engineering projects: geological and geotechnical investigations for dams,
reservoirs and spillways, tunnels, underground caverns, bridges, highways,
shorelines. Problems of groundwater in engineering projects. Coastal
geotechniques. Environmental considerations related to civil engineering
projects. Resource evaluation of construction materials. Geological hazards
(landslides and earthquakes), their significance, causes, preparedness and
mitigation. Recent trends in geotechnical engineering. Geotechnical case studies
of major projects in India.
Combined Geo-scientist and Geologist Examiination
HYDROGEOLOGY: 200 Marks
Section A: Origin, occurrence and distribution of water.
Water on earth; Types of water — meteoric, juvenile, magmatic
and sea water; Hydrological Cycle and its components; Water balance;
Water-bearing properties of rocks — porosity, permeability, specific yield and
specific retention; Vertical distribution of water; Zone of aeration and zone of
saturation; Classification of rocks according to their water-bearing properties;
Aquifers; Classification of aquifers; Concepts of drainage basins and
groundwater basins; Aquifer parameters- transrnissivity and storage coefficient;
Water table and piezometric surface; Fluctuations of water table and piezometric
surface; Barometric and tidal efficiencies; Water table contour maps;
Hydrographs; Springs; Geologic and geomorphic controls on groundwater;
Hydrostratigraphic units;Groundwater provinces of India. Hydrogeology of arid
zones of India;Hydrogeology of wet lands.
Section B: Groundwater Hydraulics
Theory of groundwater flow; Darcy's law and its applications; Determination
of permeability in laboratory and in field; Flow through aquifers; steady,
unsteady and radial flow conditions; Evaluation of aquifer parameters of
confined, semi-confined and unconfined °aquifers -Thiem, Thies, Jacob and
Walton's methods; Groundwater modelling.
Section C: Groundwater Exploration and Water Well Construction
Geologic and hydrogeologic methods of exploration; Role of
remote sensing in groundwater exploration; Hydrogeomorphic and lineament
'napping; Surface geophysical methods — seismic, gravity, geo-electrical and
magnetic methods; Types of water wells and methods of construction; Design,
development, maintenance and revitalization of wells; Sub-surface geophysical
methods; Yield characteristics of wells; Pumping tests- methods, data analysis
Section 1): Groundwater Quality
Physical and chemical properties of water; Quality criteria
for different uses; Graphical presentation of groundwater quality data;
Groundwater quality in different provinces in India; Groundwater contamination;
natural (geogenic) and anthropogenic contaminants; Saline water intrusion;
Radioisotopes in hydroLteological studies.
Section E: Groundwater Management
Groundwater problems related to foundation work, mining,
canals and tunnels; Over-expioitation of groundwater and groundwater mining;
Groundwater problems in urban areas; Ground water management in arid and semi
arid areas; Climate change impact on gioundwater resources; Concept of
sustainable development of groundwater resources; Groundwater management —supply
side and demand side management; Rainwater harvesting and managed aquifer
recharge; Conjunctive use of su•face and groundwater; Groundwater legislation.