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UPSC Geology Syllabus For 2024 for UPSC Mains, Paper 1 & 2

UPSC Geology Syllabus: Geology is one of the optional subjects with two papers in the UPSC Civil Services Mains Exam (Optional Paper I and Paper II). The IAS Mains Exam consists of nine papers, two of which are optional. This article contains the UPSC Geology syllabus for Optionals.

UPSC Geology Syllabus 2024

In UPSC Mains, the UPSC Geology subject has two papers (paper I and paper II). Each paper carries 250 marks for a total of 500 marks. The UPSC Geology Syllabus focuses on candidates’ understanding of fundamental concepts as well as their application of knowledge to problems of sustainable development and disaster management.

UPSC Geology Syllabus 2024 covers a wide range of topics, including general geology, remote sensing, India’s geomorphology and stratigraphy, mining, and economic geology, and their significance in promoting sustainable development and managing disasters.

UPSC Geology Optional Syllabus Paper 1

UPSC Geology Syllabus (Mains Paper I)
1. General Geology
  • The Solar System, Meteorites, Origin and interior of the Earth and age of 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
2. 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.

3. 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
  • The 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.
4. Palaeontology
  • 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

  • The evolutionary trend in Hominidae, Equidae and Proboscidae; Siwalik fauna

  • Gondwana flora and fauna and its importance

  • Index fossils and their significance

5. Indian Stratigraphy
  • 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 problems- Cambrian/Precambrian, Permian/Triassic, Cretaceous/Tertiary and Pliocene/Pleistocene;
  • Study of climatic conditions, palaeogeography and igneous activity in the Indian subcontinent in the geological past;
  • Tectonic framework of India; Evolution of the Himalayas.
6. 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; Ground-water chemistry;
  • Saltwater 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, railways and bridges;
  • Rock as a construction material;
  • Landslides-causes, prevention and rehabilitation;
  • Earthquake-resistant structures

UPSC Geology Syllabus 2024 for Optional (Paper II)

UPSC Geology Syllabus (Mains Paper II)
1. Mineralogy
  • Classification of crystals into systems and classes of symmetry;
  • The 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.
2. 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.

3. Sedimentary Petrology
  • 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.

4. Economic Geology:
  • Ore, ore minerals and gangue, the 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.

5. Mining Geology:
  • 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.
6. 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.

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Is geology good for UPSC?

If you studied Geology as a subject in college and have a solid understanding and interest in it, you should definitely take the Geology optional in the IAS exam. It is a subject with a high score. Unlike some humanities subjects, it is a scientific subject with no room for interpretation.

What is the topic of geology for UPSC?

This subject covers general geology, remote sensing, India's geomorphology and stratigraphy, mining, and economic geology, as well as their applications to sustainable development and disaster management.

What is the salary of UPSC geologist?

A newly hired candidate's yearly pay, as per the UPSC Combined Geoscientist salary structure, might begin at INR 6,00,000. The additional allowances, where applicable, are included in the annual package amount.

Can I get job after BSc geology?

For recent geology graduates, there are positions in a variety of industries available after a B.Sc. Due to the importance of earth science today, there is a considerable need for geologists in the mining, exploration, and industrial sectors. Also, candidates can participate in a variety of studies on the environment and marine environments.

If your question is “Can an average student crack IAS?

YES! We provide a few success stories of aspirants who had "average" grades but nevertheless passed the exam, demonstrating that you don't have to be the top student to pass the IAS Exam.

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