GATE 2021 Geology & Geophysics Syllabus, Books and Preparation Tips

    Nikkil Visha Nikkil Visha
    Exams Prep Master

    Geology is the study of the Earth. It includes composition and material, structure, processes, and history. Geophysics is the study of the Earth by quantitative physical methods. It is an applied science and includes the Earth’s interior, crust, oceans, atmosphere, and magnetosphere.

    GATE 2021 Syllabus of Geology & Geophysics will be divided into 2 parts i.e. Part A and B. Further Part B will be divided into two sections. Candidates will have to attempt the questions of Part A and questions of either Section-1 or Section-2 in Part-B. 

    • Part A: Common Section to Geology & Geophysics (GG)
    • Part B: Section 1 – Geology
    • Part B: Section 2 – Geophysics

    In GATE GG paper, 85% of the questions will be asked from from subject topics and 15% of the questions will be from the general aptitude section. The duration of the examination will be three hours and candidates will have to attempt 65 questions of 100 marks.  Check GATE 2021 Exam Pattern

    Candidates qualifying GATE 2021 will become eligible to get admission in M.Tech courses offered at various institutes of the country like IITs, NITs, etc. Read the article to know more about syllabus, exam pattern, books and much more. 

    Must Read:  IIT Bombay Admission Process

    GATE 2021 GG Syllabus - Common Section

    GATE 2021 Syllabus for Geology & Geophysics – Common Section

    • Earth and Planetary system, size, shape, internal structure and composition of the earth; atmosphere and greenhouse effect; isostasy; elements of seismology; physical properties of the interior of the earth; continents and continental processes; physical oceanography; geomagnetism and paleomagnetism, continental drift, plate tectonics.
    • Weathering; soil formation; the action of river, wind, glacier, and ocean; earthquakes, volcanism, and orogeny. Basic structural geology, mineralogy, and petrology. Geological time scale and geochronology; stratigraphic principles; major stratigraphic divisions of India. Engineering properties of rocks and soils. Groundwater geology. Geological and geographical distribution of ore, coal and petroleum resources of India.
    • Introduction to remote sensing. Engineering properties of rocks and soils. Ground water geology. Principles and applications of gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, seismic and radiometric methods of prospecting for oil, mineral and ground water; introductory well logging.

    GATE 2021 GG Syllabus - Geology Section

    GATE 2021 Syllabus for Geology & Geophysics – Geology Section

    • Geomorphic processes and agents; development and evolution of landforms; slope and drainage; processes in deep oceanic and near-shore regions; quantitative and applied geomorphology.
    • Mechanism of rock deformation; primary and secondary structures; geometry and genesis of folds, faults, joints and unconformities; cleavage, schistosity and lineation; methods of projection; tectonites and their significance; shear zones; superposed folding; basement-cover relationship.
    • Crystallography- symmetry, forms and twinning; crystal chemistry; optical mineralogy, classification of minerals, diagnostic physical and optical properties of rock - forming minerals.
    • Cosmic abundance of elements; meteorites; geochemical evolution of the earth; geochemical cycles; distribution of major, minor and trace elements in crust and mantle; elements of geochemical thermodynamics; isotope geochemistry; geochemistry of waters including solution equilibria and water-rock interaction.
    • Igneous rocks– classification, forms and textures; magmatic differentiation; binary and ternary phase diagrams; major and trace elements as monitors of partial melting and magma evolutionary processes. Sedimentary rocks – texture and structure; sedimentary processes and environments, sedimentary facies, provencance and basin analysis. Metamorphic rocks – structures and textures.
    • Physico-chemical conditions of metamorphism and concept of metamorphic facies, grade and baric types; metamorphism of pelitic, mafic and impure carbonate rocks; role of fluids in metamorphism; metamorphic P-T-t paths and their tectonic significance. Association of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks with tectonic setting. Igneous and metamorphic provinces and important sedimentary basins of India.
    • Morphology, classification and geological significance of important invertebrates, vertebrates, plant fossils and microfossils. Principles of Stratigraphy and concepts of correlation – lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and chrono stratigraphy. Indian stratigraphy – Precambrian and Phanerozoic. Overview of Himalayan Geology.
    • Ore-mineralogy and optical properties of ore minerals; ore forming processes vis-à- vis ore-rock association (magmatic, hydrothermal, sedimentary, supergene and met morphogenic ores); fluid inclusions as an ore genetic tool. Coal and petroleum geology; marine mineral resources. Prospecting and exploration of economic mineral deposits - sampling, ore reserve estimation, geostatistics, mining methods. Ore dressing and mineral economics. Origin and distribution of mineral, fossil and nuclear fuel deposits in India.
    • Engineering properties of rocks and soils; rocks as construction materials; role of geology in the construction of engineering structures including dams, tunnels and excavation sites; natural hazards. Ground water geology – exploration, well hydraulics and water quality. Basic principles of remote sensing – energy sources and radiation principles, atmospheric absorption, interaction of energy with earth’s surface, aerial-photo interpretation, multispectral remote sensing in visible, infrared, thermal IR and microwave regions, digital processing of satellite images. GIS – basic concepts, raster and vector mode operations.

    GATE 2021 GG Syllabus - Geophysics Section

    GATE 2021 Syllabus for Geology & Geophysics – Geophysics Section

    • The earth as a planet; different motions of the earth; gravity field of the earth, Clairaut’s theorem, size and shape of earth; geomagnetic field, paleomagnetism; Geothermics and heat flow; seismology and interior of the earth; variation of density, velocity, pressure, temperature, electrical and magnetic properties of the earth; earthquakes-causes and measurements, magnitude and intensity, focal mechanisms, earthquake quantification, source characteristics, seismotectonics and seismic hazards; digital seismographs,
    • Scalar and vector potential fields; Laplace, Maxwell and Helmholtz equations for solution of different types of boundary value problems in Cartesian, cylindrical and spherical polar coordinates; Green’s theorem; Image theory; integral equations in potential theory; Eikonal equation and Ray theory.
    • Absolute and relative gravity measurements; Gravimeters, Land, airborne, shipborne and bore-hole gravity surveys; various corrections for gravity data reduction – free air, Bouguer and isostatic anomalies; density estimates of rocks; regional and residual gravity separation; principle of equivalent stratum; data enhancement techniques, upward and downward continuation; derivative maps, wavelength filtering; preparation and analysis of gravity maps; gravity anomalies and their interpretation – anomalies due to geometrical and irregular shaped bodies, depth rules, calculation of mass.
    • Elements of Earth’s magnetic field, units of measurement, magnetic susceptibility of rocks and measurements, magnetometers, Land, airborne and marine magnetic surveys, Various corrections applied to magnetic data, IGRF, Reduction to Pole transformation, Poisson’s relation of gravity and magnetic potential field, preparation of magnetic maps, upward and downward continuation, magnetic anomalies-geometrical shaped bodies, depth estimates, Image processing concepts in processing of magnetic anomaly maps; Interpretation of processed magnetic anomaly data. Applications of gravity and magnetic methods for mineral and oil exploration.
    • Conduction of electricity through rocks, electrical conductivities of metals, nonmetals, rock forming minerals and different rocks, concepts of D.C. resistivity measurement, various electrode configurations for resistivity sounding and profiling, application of filter theory, Type-curves over multi-layered structures, Dar-Zarrouck parameters, reduction of layers, coefficient of anisotropy, interpretation of resistivity field data, equivalence and suppression, self-potential and its origin, field measurement, Induced polarization, time and frequency domain IP measurements; interpretation and applications of IP, ground-water exploration, mineral exploration, environmental and engineering applications.
    • Basic concept of EM induction in the earth, Skin-depth, elliptic polarization, inphase and quadrature components, Various EM methods, measurements in different source-receiver configurations, Earth’s natural electromagnetic field, tellurics, magneto-tellurics; geomagnetic depth sounding principles, electromagnetic profiling, Time domain EM method, EM scale modeling, processing of EM data and interpretation. Geological applications including groundwater, mineral and hydrocarbon exploration.
    • Seismic methods of prospecting; Elastic properties of earth materials; Reflection, refraction and CDP surveys; land and marine seismic sources, generation and propagation of elastic waves, velocity – depth models, geophones, hydrophones, recording instruments (DFS), digital formats, field layouts, seismic noises and noise profile analysis, optimum geophone grouping, noise cancellation by shot and geophone arrays, 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation; CDP stacking charts, binning, filtering, dip-moveout, static and dynamic corrections, Digital seismic data processing, seismic deconvolution and migration methods, attribute analysis, bright and dim spots, seismic stratigraphy, high resolution seismics, VSP, AVO. Reservoir geophysics.
    • Geophysical signal processing, sampling theorem, aliasing, Nyquist frequency, Fourier series, periodic waveform, Fourier and Hilbert transform, Z-transform and wavelet transform; power spectrum, delta function, auto correlation, cross correlation, convolution, deconvolution, principles of digital filters, windows, poles and zeros.
    • Principles and techniques of geophysical well-logging, SP, resistivity, induction, gamma ray, neutron, density, sonic, temperature, dip meter, caliper, nuclear magnetic, cement bond logging, micro-logs. Quantitative evaluation of formations from well logs; well hydraulics and application of geophysical methods for groundwater study; application of bore hole geophysics in ground water, mineral and oil exploration.
    • Radioactive methods of prospecting and assaying of mineral (radioactive and non-radioactive) deposits, half-life, decay constant, radioactive equilibrium, G M counter, scintillation detector, semiconductor devices, application of radiometric for exploration, assaying and radioactive waste disposal.
    • Basic concepts of forward and inverse problems, ill-posedness of inverse problems, condition number, non-uniqueness and stability of solutions; L1, L2, and Lp norms, overdetermined, underdetermined and mixed determined inverse problems, quasilinear and non-linear methods including Tikhonov’s regularization method, Singular Value Decomposition, Backus-Gilbert method, simulated annealing, genetic algorithms, and artificial neural network.

    Direct link to download GATE Geology and Geography (GG) syllabus PDF 

    Important Questions of Geology & Geophysics

    • Sample Question from Part A: The plunge of the normal to the axial planes of vertical and upright folds is_______?
    • Sample Question from Part B – Section 1 –  Geology: In metamafites, which one of the following mineral assemblages is stable under greenschist facies conditions?
      (A) Albite + Chlorite + Actinolite + Epidote
      (B) Andesine + Biotite + Hornblende
      (C) Oligoclase + Biotite + Hornblende
      (D) Oligoclase + Epidote + Biotite + Hornblende
    • Sample Question from Part B – Section 1 –  Geophysics​: Hydrogeological setup of a hypothetical alluvial area (where contact X-Y between two sands is vertical) is given in the schematic section. Hydraulic heads are indicated as h1, h2
      and hydraulic conductivities as K1 and K2. The hydraulic head at the contact (X-Y) is __________ m. (round off to 2 decimal places).

    Check GATE Paper Analysis

    GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of GG

    GATE 2021 Exam Pattern of Geology & Geophysics

    GATE Exam Pattern is defined paper wise depending upon candidates’ branch. The exam includes 2 types of Questions - Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) & Numerical Answer Type (NAT).

    • GG paper will consist of two parts: Part – A and Part – B.
    • Part – A is compulsory for the candidates.
    • Part – B will consist of two sections: Section 1 – Geology & Section 2 – Geophysics. 
    • Candidates will have to attempt the questions of Part A and questions of either Section – 1 or Section – 2 from Part – B.
    Section Distribution of MarksTotal MarksTypes of questions
    GA5 questions of 1 mark each
    5 questions of 2 marks each
      15 marks           MCQs
    Part A (compulsory)25 questions of 1 mark each  25 marks  MCQs and NATs
    Part B – Section 1 (Geology)/ Section 2 (Geophysics)
    30 questions of 2 marks each 

      60 marks

       MCQs and NATs
    • The total number of questions in GATE paper is 65.
    • Applicants have to attempt all the questions in a duration of three hours.
    • The maximum marks for the paper is 100.
    • There is no negative marking for NAT but it is applicable for MCQs.  For 1 mark MCQs, 1/3 marks will be deducted for every wrong answer. Likewise, for 2 marks MCQs, 2/3 marks will be deducted.

    Read More GATE Exam Pattern

    Important Books for GATE 2021 Geology & Geophysics

    Recommended Books for GATE 2021 Geology & Geophysics

    GATE Geology & Geophysics Preparation Books
    Book NameAuthor Name
    Engineering GeologyR. Nagarajan, A. Parthasarathy, V. Panchapakesan
    Principals of Engineering GeologyK M Bangar
    A text book of GeologyG. B. Mahapatra
    Engineering and General GeologyParbin Singh
    Structural GeologyMarland P Billings

    How to Prepare for GATE 2021 GG Paper?

    GATE 2021 Preparation Tips for Geology & Geophysics

    1. Know your Syllabus and Exam Pattern

    • Before starting your preparation, you must go through the syllabus and exam pattern.
    • The syllabus and exam of GG paper is a little different from other subjects. Hence you must have all the necessary information related to the same.
    • With the knowledge of the syllabus, you can easily divide the topics for preparations.
    • The exam pattern will help you in getting all the information about marking scheme so that you can prepare your sections/topics as per that.

    2. Solve Practice Papers

    • Solving practice papers will help you to get a much idea about the difficulty level of questions, type of questions, weightage of sections, etc.
    • You can also judge the level of your performance by calculating your score.
    • Observe your weaker areas and put more effort to improve those areas.

    Download GATE Practice Papers

    3. Practice to Improve Accuracy Level

    • With daily practice, you can improve your accuracy level.
    • After getting the accuracy you much start working on your speed of attempting the questions.
    • In any case, you are not able to maintain a good speed then you must focus on accuracy only.
    • You can attempt mock tests as they are like real exams and will help you in getting more clarity about your accuracy level and speed.

    4. Attend Video Lectures

    • Some time candidates can afford coaching classes. In that case, you can go for free videos on Youtube.
    • You can attend free lectures related to your topics. 
    • These lectures will help you to clear the doubts if any.

    Read Preparation Tips of GATE Topper

    5. Revision is Must

    • Candidates are advised not to leave any topic for the end days. 
    • You must save the last 2 weeks for revisions only.
    • Regular revisions are also important as they help you in memorizing things.
    • Do not compare your preparations with your friends. Stick to your plan only

    GATE 2021 Syllabus of Other Subjects

    Candidates can check the syllabus of their respective subjects from the links provided in the table below:

    Aerospace EngineeringAEMechanical EngineeringME
    Agricultural EngineeringAGMetallurgical EngineeringMT
    Civil EngineeringCEMining EngineeringMN
    Chemical EngineeringCHPetroleum EngineeringPE
    Engineering SciencesXEProduction and Industrial EngineeringPI
    Electronics and CommunicationECTextile Engineering and Fibre ScienceTF
    Electrical EngineeringEEBiotechnologyBT

    GATE 2021 Geology & Geophysics FAQs

    Ques: What are various sections or parts in GATE 2021 Geology and Geophysics syllabus?

    Ans: GATE 2021 Syllabus of Geology & Geophysics will be divided into 2 parts i.e. Part A and B. Further Part B will be divided into two sections. Candidates will have to attempt the questions of Part A and questions of either Section-1 or Section-2 in Part-B. 

    • Part A: Common Section to Geology & Geophysics (GG)
    • Part B: Section 1 – Geology
    • Part B: Section 2 – Geophysics

    Ques: What will be the marking scheme in GATE 2021 Geology and Geophysics syllabus?

    Ans: The marking is mentioned below in the table:

    Section Distribution of MarksTotal Marks
    GA5 questions of 1 mark each
    5 questions of 2 marks each
      15 marks 
    Part A (compulsory)25 questions of 1 mark each  25 marks
    Part B – Section 1 (Geology)/ Section 2 (Geophysics)
    30 questions of 2 marks each 

      60 marks

    Ques: Is it compulsory to select one section from Part B?

    Ans: Yes. It is mandatory to select one section from Part B. General Aptitude and Part A are compulsory sections to attempt wherefrom two sections of part B candidates can select one i.e either Geology or Geophysics. The cut off will also be declared separately for both subjects. 

    Ques: What will be the syllabus of General Aptitude n GATE 2021 Geology and Geophysics syllabus?

    Ans: The syllabus of general aptitude will include topics like Grammer, Sentence completion, FInd the errors, Antonyms, Synonyms, etc. 

    *The article might have information for the previous academic years, which will be updated soon subject to the notification issued by the University/College


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