Geology Optional Syllabus for UPSC Mains
- General Geology:
The Solar System, Meteorites, Origin and interior of the earth and age of earth; Volcanoes-causes and products, Volcanic belts; Earth quakes- causes ,effects , Seismic zones of India ; Island arcs , trenches and mid-ocean ridges; Continental drifts; Seafloor spreading, Plate tectonics; Isostasy
- 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.
- 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, lineation’s, joints and faults, un-conformities; Time-relationship between crystallization and deformation.
Species- definition and nomenclature; Mega fossils and Microfossils; Modes of preservation of fossils; Different kinds of microfossils; Application of microfossils in correlation, petroleum exploration, paleoclimatic and palaeoceanographic studies; Evolutionary trend in Hominidae, Equidae and Proboscidae; Siwalik fauna; Gondwana flora and fauna and its importance; Index fossils and their significance.
- Indian Stratigraphic:
Classification of stratigraphic sequences: litho-stratigraphic, bio-stratigraphic, chro-nostratigraphic 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; Study of climatic conditions, paleo geography and igneous activity in the Indian subcontinent in the geological past; Tectonic framework of India; Evolution of the Himalayas.
- Hydro geology and Engineering Geology:
Hydro logic 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.
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.
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; 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.
- Sedimentary Petrology:
Sediments 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.
- 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 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.
- Mining Geology:
Methods of prospecting-geological, geophysical, geochemical and geo botanical; 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.
- 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, coastal 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.