Geology Optional Books and Syllabus for UPSC Exam

UPSC exam is considered as one of the hardest exams in India. But a candidate with a good knowledge and a good understanding about subjects can pass the exam easily with a good mark. There are 48 optional subjects where the aspirants can choose their subjects and face the exam. Among the 48 optional subjects geology is very popular.

Books to Refer for Geology Optional UPSC Exam

Buying Books for studying geology optional UPSC is challenging since no single book or book list covers the entire subject by the UPSC curriculum optional. There are several books and sources to be referred to by students. Geology optional upsc books can be very helpful for the students to get a good grip over the subject. Here are some of the best geology optional upsc books that you could refer to.

  • Remote Sensing and GIS for Natural Resource Management-Bir Abhimanyu Kumar
  • Remote Sensing in Geomorphology- Ramasamy, S.M.
  • Soil Chemistry: Basic Concepts- G. Bujy
  • The Evolution and Classification of Soils-Ramanan, E. & Whittles, C.L. (Tr.)
  • The Ice Age in the Indian Subcontinent and Associated Human Culture-Terra, H. De. & Paterson, T.T.
  • Advancing Frontiers in Geology and Geophysics: A Volume in Honour of M.S. Krishnan- A P Subramaniam & S. Balakrishnan
  • Ananda K. Coomaraswamy Writings on Geology and Mineralogy: Scientific Papers and Comments- Ranganathan, A. & Rao, K. Srinivasa (Eds.)
  • Concise Glossary of Geology- Mathur, S.M.
  • Deccan Traverses: The Making of Bangalore’s Terrain-Mathur, Anuradha & Cunha, Dilip Da
  • Delta Sedimentation: East Coast of India- Singh, I.B. & Swamy, A.S.R.
  • Dimensions of Himalayan Geology- Biyani A.K.
  • Foreland Sedimentation in Himalayan Tectonic Regime: A Relook at the Orogenic Process- V. Raiverman
  • Geologic Settings and Petroleum Systems of India’s East Coast Offshore Basins: Concepts and Applications- Ravi, Bastia
  • Geological Maps- D.K. Awasthi
  • Geology and Evolution of the Indian Plate (from Hadean to Holocene – 4Ga to 4 Ka)- Naqvi, S.M.
  • Glossary of Structural Geology and Tectonics- P.S. Saklani 6. Wild India: The wildlife and landscapes of India- Guy Mountfort & Hashim Tyabji
  • Marine Geology: A Scenario Around Indian Coasts- T.K. Mallik
  • Metallogenesis of Manganese Ores of Srikakulam-Visakhapatnam Belt- Siddiquie, F.N.
  • Mine Closure- Naresh Chandra Saxena
  • Mineral Exploration: Recent Strategies- S. Rajendran et al.
  • Poisonous Snakes- F. Wall
  • Early Man in Eastern Himalayas: North-East India and Nepal- Sharma, A. K.
  • Earthquake Disaster Reduction: Masonry Buildings, Design and Construction- Arya, Anand S.
  • Encyclopaedia of Fish and Fisheries- Anand, Vishal
  • Encyclopaedia of Geo-Informatics: Incorporating GIS and Remote Sensing, 5 Vols.- Trivedi, Priya Ranjan et al.
  • Encyclopaedia of Geology-Washali  Yadgiri
  • Encyclopaedia of Paleontology- Sharma, Vivek
  • Himalaya: Geological Aspect, Vol. 5-P.S. Saklani (Ed.)
  • Himalaya: Geological Aspects, Vol. 1 & 2 – P.S. Saklani
  • Himalaya: Geological Aspects, Vol. 3- Saklani, P.S. (Ed.)
  • Himalaya: Geological Aspects, Vol. 4 / Saklani, P.S. (Ed.)
  • History and Culture of the Himalaya, 3 Vols- Gulia, K. S
  • Hydrocarbon Potential and Exploration Strategy of Cauvery Basin, India- J.N. Sahu
  • Inland Fisheries: Ecology and Management- Welcomme, R. L

Geology optional paper 1 syllabus

#1. General Geology:

  • The Solar System, Meteorites, Origin and interior of the earth and age of earth; Volcanoes, Seismic zones of India

#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, 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, The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS)

#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, Behavior of minerals and rocks under deformation conditions, Folds and faults classification and mechanics, Structural analysis of folds, foliations, lineation, joints and faults, unconformities

#4. Paleontology: 

  • 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 Proboscidea

#5. Indian Stratigraphy:

  • Classification of stratigraphic sequences, Distribution and classification of Precambrian rocks of India, Stratigraphic distribution and lithology of Phanerozoic rocks of India with reference to fauna, flora and economic importance, Major boundary problems, Study of climatic conditions, paleogeography and igneous activity in the Indian subcontinent in the geological past, Tectonic framework of India

#6. Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology: 

  • Hydrologic cycle and genetic classification of water, Movement of subsurface water, Ground-water chemistry, Salt water intrusion, Drainage basin morphometric; Exploration for groundwater; Problems and management of groundwater; 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 optional paper 2 syllabus

#1. Mineralogy: 

  • 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.

#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, Petro-graphy and petrogenesis of granite, syenite, diorite, basic and ultrabasic groups, charnockite, anorthosite and alkaline rocks,

Carbonatites, Types and agents of metamorphism, 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, tenor of ore, classification of ore deposits, Process of formation of minerals deposits, Controls of ore localization, Ore textures and structu-res, 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 geo botanical; Techniques of sampling, Estimation of reserves or ore, Methods of exploration and mining metallic ores, 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.

Geology is an optional subject preferred by those aspirants who already possess a grip on it. If you are the one who has opted for it then you should have a keen look at its syllabus and books so that you can prepare well. Once you go through the syllabus well, then you know which are the topics that you are strong at and where you need to divert your focus. Prepare well for your exam by pouring your heart and soul into your preparation. No optional subject is wrong, you just need to change your mindset and prepare well for it.

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