OPTIONAL : GEOLOGY
Geology Paper – I
The Solar System, Meteorites, Origin and interior of the earth and age of the 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.
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 the 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.
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; Time-relationship between crystallization and deformation.
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.
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 problemsCambrian/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.
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; Groundwater chemistry; Saltwater intrusion; Types of wells; Drainage basin morphometry; Exploration for groundwater; Ground-water 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.
Geology Paper – II
Classification of crystals into systems and classes of symmetry; an 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, sulfide 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 differentiation 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.
Sediments and Sedimentary rocks: Processes of formation; diagenesis 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.
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.
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.
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.
- Geology: An Introduction – Kronaris and Krambine
- Text Book of Geology – P.K. Mukherjee
- Text Book of Physical Geology – Mahapatra
- Geomorphology – Woolridge or Tharnbury
- Principles of Petrology – G.W. Turrel
- Petrography – Williams
- Mineral and Crystal Science – V.C. Jesh
- Sedimentary Rocks – Petti John
- Underground Hydrology – David Keith Toad
- Igneous Rocks and Metromorphic Petrology – Turner
- Ocean – Squaredrop, Johnson and Bliming
- Simple Geological Structure – Plate and Charlincr
- Soil Minerology – I. E. Grim
- A Dictionary of Geology – Morrison
- Students who have taken Geology as graduation subject who have a sound knowledge and interest in it, can score good marks.
- it is regarded as a very scoring subject.
- Geology a branch of Earth Sciences, has risen as one of the most secure and scoring optional subject for the UPSC.
- This subject is easy to understand, hence easy to crack.
- The syllabus of geology for UPSC Mains exam is long .
- Only students from geology background can easily score good marks
How to prepare
- Memorise the Syllabus.
- Stick to limited reference books
- Before starting preparation, go through previous year qps
- Paper I covers geomorphology, palaeontology, geotectonics, etc.
- Paper II has questions from igneous and metamorphic petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, etc.
- Environmental geology is also important.
- It is recommended that to focus on mineral revelation, ore genesis, Indian mineral silt, etc.
- One can expect questions from mineral trading and lending, geology of energies, designing topography, groundwater science, underground water examination, issues and administration, incident and designation of water.
- In this optional, no topic should be left uncovered.
- Solve at least 10 previous year question papers.
Previous Year Question Papers:
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