Combined Geo-Scientist (Main) Examination, Exam Syllabus, Exam Pattern- Geology

UPSC Exam Geology Syllabus

UPSC Exam Geology Syllabus: In this article, we will discuss the details of the UPSC Exam Geology Syllabus, Geology exam Pattern and its features. UPSC is conducting the Combined Geo-Scientist (Main) Examination 2022 on Saturday, 25.06.2022. It will be a 2-day event. The preliminary examination was held on 20.02.2022

There are 3 streams, and the Main examination will comprise three papers in each stream.

The streams are

  1. Geology
  2. Geophysicist
  3. Chemistry

Combined Geo-Scientist (Main) Examination

UPSC Exam Geology Syllabus

Descriptive Type

Geology: Paper-I

Section A. Physical geology and remote sensing
Evolution of EarthElectromagnetic spectrum
Earth’s internal structureElectromagnetic bands in remote sensing
Earthquakes and VolcanoesSpectral signatures of soil, rock, water and vegetation
Principles of GeodesThermal, Near Infra-Red and Microwave Remote Sensing
Isostasy; Weathering- Processes and ProductsDigital Image Processing
Geomorphic landforms formed by the action of rivers, wind, glaciers, waves and GroundwaterLANDSAT, IRS and SPOTcharacteristics and use
Features of Ocean Floor; Continental Shelf, Slope and RiseAerial Photos- Types, Scale, Parallax, Relief
Concepts of Landscape EvolutionElements of Image Interpretation
Major Geomorphic Features of India- Coastal, Peninsular and Extra Peninsular.
Section B. Structural geology
Principles of Geological MappingKinematic and Dynamic Analysis Of
Stress-Strain Relationships for Elastic, Plastic and Viscous MaterialsMeasurement of Strain in Deformed Rocks
Structural Analysis of Fold, Cleavage, Boudin, Lineation, Joint, and FaultStereographic Projection of Linear And Planar Structures
Superposed DeformationBrittle and Ductile Shear Zones
Deformation at Microscaledynamic and Static Recrystallisation, Controls of Strain Rate and Temperature On Development of MicrofabricsTime Relationship Between Crystallisation and Deformation, Calculation of Paleostress
Section C. Sedimentology
Classification of Sedimentary RocksSedimentary Textures- Grain Size,
Roundness, Sphericity, Shape and Fabric
Quantitative Grain Size AnalysisPenecontemporaneous Deformation Structure
Sediment Transport and Deposition- Fluid and Sediment Gravity Flows, Laminar And Turbulent Flows, Reynold’s Number, Froude Number, Grain Entrainment, Hjulstrom Diagram, Bed Load and Suspension Load Transport; Primary Sedimentary StructuresComposition and Significance of Different Types of Sandstone, Limestone, Banded Iron Formation,
Mudstone, Conglomerate; Carbonate Diagenesis and Dolomitisation
Biogenic Structures; Principles and Application of Paleocurrent AnalysisCarbonate Platforms- Types and Facies
Models; Sedimentation in Major Tectonic Settings;
Sedimentary Environments and Facies- Facies Models for Fluvial, Glacial, Deltaic, Siliciclastic
Shallow and Deep Marine Environments
Principles of Sequence Stratigraphy- Concepts and Factors Controlling Base Level Changes, Parasequence, Clinoform, Systems Tract, Unconformity and Sequence Boundary

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Section D. Paleontology
Fossil Record and Geological Time ScaleModes of Preservation of Fossils And
Concept of Taphonomy
Body- and Ichno-Fossils, Species Concept, Organic Evolution, Ediacara FaunaMorphology and Time Range of Graptolites, Trilobites, Brachiopods, Lamellibranchs, Gastropods, Cephalopods, Echinoids and Corals
Evolutionary Trends in Trilobites, Lamellibranchs, Gastropods and CephalopodsMicropaleontology- Methods of Preparation of Microfossils, Morphology of Microfossil Groups (foraminifera, Ostracoda), Fossil Spores, Pollen And Dinoflagellates
Gondwana Plant Fossils and Their SignificanceVertebrate Life Through Ages, Evolution in Proboscidea, Equidae and Hominidae
Applications Of Paleontological Data in Stratigraphy, Paleoecology and PaleoclimatologyMass Extinctions.
Section E. Stratigraphy
Principles of Stratigraphy- Code of Stratigraphic Nomenclature of IndiaLithostratigraphy, Biostratigraphy, Chronostratigraphy and Magnetostratigraphy
Principles of Stratigraphic CorrelationSiwaliks; Boundary Problems in Indian
Characteristics of Archean Granitegreenstone Belts; Indian Stratigraphy- Geological Evolution of Archean Nucleii (Dharwar, Bastar, Singhbhum, Aravalli and Bundelkhand)Proterozoic Mobile Belts- Eastern Ghats Mobile Belt, Southern Granulite Terrain, Central Indian
Tectonic Zone, Aravalli-Delhi Belt, North Singhbhum Mobile Belt
Proterozoic Sedimentary Basins (Cuddapah and Vindhyan); Phanerozoic Stratigraphy Paleozoic (Spiti, Kashmir and Kumaon), Mesozoic (Spiti, Kutch, Narmada Valley and Trichinopoly)Gondwana Supergroup, Cenozoic (Assam, Bengal Basins, Garhwal-Shimla Himalayas)

Geology: Paper-II

Section A. Mineralogy
Symmetry, motif, Miller indicesConcept of Unit Cell and Bravais Lattices
32 Crystal ClassesTypes of Bonding, Pauling’s Rules and Coordination Polyhedra
Crystal Imperfections-Defects, Twinning And
Polymorphism, Pseudomorphism, Isomorphism and Solid Solution
Physical Properties of Minerals; Polarising Microscope and Accessory PlateOptical Properties of Minerals- Double
Refraction, Polarisation, Pleochroism, Sign of Elongation, Interference Figure and Optic Sign
Structure, Composition, Physical and Optical Properties of Major Rock-Forming Minerals- Olivine, Garnet, Aluminosilicates, Pyroxene, Amphibole, Mica, Feldspar, Clay, Silica and Spinel Group.
Section B. Geochemistry and isotope geology
Chemical Composition and Characteristics of Atmosphere, Lithosphere, HydrosphereGoldschmidt’s Classification of Elements
Geochemical Cycles; Meteorites-Types and CompositionFractionation of Elements in Minerals/rocks
Nernst’s Partition Coefficient (compatible and Incompatible Elements), Nernst-Berthelot Partition Coefficient and Bulk Partition CoefficientFick’s Laws of Diffusion and Activity Composition Relation ( Roult’s and Henry’s Law);
Application of Trace Elements in PetrogenesisPrinciples of Equilibrium and Rayleigh Fractionation
Ree Patterns, Eh and P H Diagrams and Mineral
Half-Life and Decay Equation
Dating of Minerals and Rocks with Potassium-Argon, Rubidiumstrontium, Uranium-Lead and Samarium-Neodymium IsotopesPetrogenetic Implications Of Samarium- Neodymium and Rubidium-Strontium Systems
Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Carbon,
Oxygen and Sulphur and Their Applications in Geology
Monazite Chemical Dating
Section C. Igneous petrology
Viscosity, Temperature and Pressure Relationships in MagmasIUGS Classification of Plutonic Andnvolcanic Rocks
Nucleation and Growth of Minerals in Magmatic Rocks, Development of Igneous TexturesMagmatic Evolution (differentiation, Assimilation, Mixing and Mingling); Types of Mantle Melting (batch, Fractional and Dynamic)
Binary (albite-Anorthite, Forsterite-Silica and Diopsideanorthite) and Ternary (diopside-Forsterite-Silica, Diopside-Forsterite-Anorthite and Nephelinekalsilite-Silica) Phase Diagrams and Relevance to Magmatic CrystallizationPetrogenesis of Granites, Basalts, Ophiolite Suite, Komatiites, Syenites, Boninites, Anorthosites and Layered Complexes, and Alkaline Rocks (carbonatite, Kimberlite, Lamproite, Lamprophyre)
Mantle Metasomatism, Hotspot Magmatism and Large Igneous Provinces of India

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Section D. Metamorphic petrology
Limits and Physico-Chemical Controls (pressure, Temperature, Fluids and Bulk Rock Composition) Of MetamorphismConcept of Zones, Facies, Isograds and Facies Series, Geothermal Gradients and Tectonics of Orogenic Belts; Structures, Micro-Structures and Textures of Regional and Contact Metamorphic Rocks
Representation of Metamorphic Assemblages (ACF, Akf and Afm Diagrams)Equilibrium Concept in Thermodynamics
Laws of Thermodynamics, Enthalpy, Entropy, Gibb’s Free Energy, Chemical Potential, Fugacity and ActivityTracing the Chemical Reactions in P-T Space, Phase Rule and Mineralogical Phase Rule in Multi-Component System
Claussius-Clapeyron Equation and Slopes of Metamorphic Reactions; Heat Flow, Diffusion and Mass Transfer; Fourier’s Law of Heat ConductionGeothermobarometry
Mass and Energy Change During Fluid-Rock Interactions;
Charnockite Problem, Formation of Skarns, Progressive and Retrogressive Metamorphism of Pelitic, Calcareous and Basic Rocks
P-T-t path and tectonic setting.
Section E. Geodynamics
Phase Transitions and Seismic Discontinuities in The EarthSeismic Waves and Relation Between Vp2,
Vs and Density; Seismic and Petrological Moho; Rheology of Rocks and Fluids (Newtonian and Non Newtonian Liquids)
Rock Magnetism and Its Origin; Polarity Reversals, Polar Wandering and Supercontinent CyclesContinental Drift, Sea Floor Spreading; Gravity and Magnetic Anomalies of Ocean Floors and Their Significance
Mantle Plumes and Their OriginPlate Tectonics- Types of Plate Boundaries and Their Inter-Relationship; Heat Flow and Heat Production of The Crust

Geology: Paper-III

Section A. Economic geology
Ore Minerals and Industrial MineralsPhysical and Optical Properties of Ore Minerals
Ore Textures and ParagenesisCharacteristics of Mineral Deposits- Spatial and Temporal Distribution, Rock-Ore Association
Syngenetic and Epigenetic Deposits, Forms of Ore Bodies, Stratiform and Strata-Bound DepositsOre Forming Processes- Source and Migration of Ore Constituents and Ore Fluid, Mechanism
Of Ore Deposition
Magmatic and Pegmatitic Deposits (chromite, Ti-Magnetite, Diamond, Cu-Ni Sulphide, PGE, Ree, Muscovite, Rare Metals)Hydrothermal Deposits (porphyry Cu-Mo, Greisen Sn W, Skarn, Vms and Sedex Type Sulphide Deposits, Orogenic Gold)
Sedimentary Deposits (fe, Mn, Phosphorite, Placer)Supergene Deposits (cu, Al, Ni and Fe); Metamorphic and Metamorphosed Deposits (mn, Graphite)
Fluid Inclusions in Ore Mineral Assemblage- Physical and Chemical Properties, MicrothermometryStable Isotope (s, C, O, H) in Ore Genesis- Geothermometry, Source of Ore Constituents; Global Tectonics and Mineralisation.
Section B. Indian mineral deposits and mineral economics
Distribution of Mineral Deposits in Indian ShieldGeological Characteristics of Important Industrial
Mineral and Ore Deposits in India- Chromite, Diamond, Muscovite, Cu-Pb-Zn, Sn-W, Au, Fe-Mn,
Minerals Used in Refractory, Fertilizer, Ceramic, Cement, Glass, Paint Industries; Minerals
Used as Abrasive, Filler
Building Stones
Strategic, Critical and Essential MineralsIndia’s Status in Mineral Production
Co-Products and ByproductsConsumption, Substitution and Conservation of Minerals
National Mineral Policy
Mineral Concession Rules
Marine Mineral Resources and Laws of The Sea
Section C. Mineral exploration
Stages of ExplorationScope, Objectives and Methods of Prospecting, Regional Exploration and Detailed Exploration
Geological, Geochemical and Geobotanical MethodsLitho-, Bio-, Soil Geochemical Surveys, Mobility and Dispersion of Elements, Geochemical Anomalies
Ore Controls and GuidesPitting, Trenching, Drilling; Sampling, Assaying, Ore Reserve Estimation
Categorization of Ore ReservesGeophysical Methods- Ground and Airborne Surveys; Gravity, Magnetic, Electrical and Seismic methods of mineral exploration.
Section D. Fuel geology and Engineering geology
Coal and Its PropertiesProximate and Ultimate Analysis
Different Varieties and Ranks of CoalConcept of Coal Maturity, Peat, Lignite, Bituminous and Anthracite Coal
Origin of Coal, Coalificatimineral and organic matter in coalLithotypes, Microlithotypes and Maceral Groups of Coal;
Mineral and Organic Matter in Coal;Lignite and Coal Deposits of India
Origin, Migration and Entrapment of Natural HydrocarbonsCharacteristics of Source and Reservoir Rocks
Structural, Stratigraphic and Mixed TrapsGeological, Geochemical and Geophysical Methods of Hydrocarbon Exploration
Petroliferous Basins of India
Engineering Properties of Rocks
Geological Characteristics and Genesis of Major Types of U Deposits and Their Distribution in India
Geologic Considerations of Construction
geological investigations in construction of dams, reservoirs, tunnels, bridges, highways and coastal protection structures;
Section E. Environmental geology and Natural hazards
Stefan-Boltzmann Equation and Planetary TemperatureCause and Effects of Global Climate Change
Earth’s Radiation Budget
Greenhouse Gases and Effect
Examples of Positive and Negative Feedback
Biogeochemical Cycle of Carbon
Marginal Marine Environments- Estuaries, Mangroves and Lagoons
Geological Investigations of Nuclear Waste Disposal Sites
Ozone Hole Depletion, Ocean Acidification, Coral Bleaching, Milankovitch Cycle, Sea Level Rise, Eutrophication and Acid RainEnvironmental Impacts of Urbanization, Mining and Hydropower Projects
Water Pollution, Water Logging and Soil Erosion
Application of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (gis) in Environmental Management
Himalayan Glaciers; Causes and Consequences of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Tsunami, Floods, Landslides, Coastal Erosion, Droughts and Desertification


HydrogeologySection A. Occurrence and distribution of groundwater
Origin of water on Earth; global water cycle and budget; residence time concept,
geologic formations as aquifers; confined and unconfined aquifers; groundwater
table mapping and piezometric nests; porosity, void ratio, effective porosity and
representative porosity range; primary and secondary porosities; groundwater
zonation; specific retention, specific yield; groundwater basins; springs.
Section B. Groundwater movement and well hydraulics
Groundwater flow concepts; Darcy’s Law in isotropic and anisotropic media and
validity; water flow rates, direction and water volume in aquifers; permeability
and hydraulic conductivity and ranges in representative rocks; Bernoulli
equation; determination of hydraulic conductivity in field and laboratory;
concept of groundwater flow through dispersion and diffusion; transmissivity
and aquifer thickness.
Section C. Water wells and groundwater levels
Unidirectional and radial flow to a well (steady and unsteady); well flow near
aquifer boundaries; methods for constructing shallow wells, drilling wells, well
completion; testing wells, pumping test, slug tests for confined and unconfined
aquifers; fluctuations in groundwater levels; stream flow and groundwater flows;
groundwater level fluctuations; land subsidence; impact of global climate
change on groundwater.
Section D. Groundwater exploration
Surface investigation of groundwater- geologic, remote sensing, electrical
resistivity, seismic, gravity and magnetic methods; sub-surface investigation of
groundwater- test drilling, resistivity logging, spontaneous potential logging,
radiation logging
Section E. Groundwater quality and management
Groundwater composition, units of expression, mass-balance calculations; rockwater interaction (chemical equilibrium, free energy, redox reactions and
cation/anion exchanges), graphic representation of chemical data; groundwater
hardness, microorganisms in groundwater; water quality standards; sea-water
intrusion; groundwater issues due to urbanization; solid and liquid waste
disposal and plume migration models; application of isotopes (H, C, O) in
groundwater; concepts of artificial recharge methods; managing groundwater
resources; groundwater basin investigations and management practices

Combined Geo-Scientist (Main) Examination: Exam Pattern- Geology

Descriptive Nature

SubjectDurationMaximum Marks
Paper-I : Geology3 hours200 Marks
Paper-II : Geology3 hours200 Marks
Paper-III : Geology3 hours200 Marks
Total600 Marks

Hope this article on UPSC Exam Geology Syllabus will help you prepare well for the Combined Geo-Scientist (Main) Examination 2022

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