Following is the syllabus for Gate Exam for Geology and Geophysics
PART – A : COMMON TO GEOLOGY AND GEOPHYSICS
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; 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. Ground water geology. Geological and geographical
distribution of ore, coal and petroleum resources of India.
Introduction to remote sensing. Physical basis and applications of gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, seismic
and radiometric prospecting for oil, mineral and ground water; introductory well logging.
PART B – SECTION 1 : GEOLOGY
Crystal symmetry, forms, twinning; crystal chemistry; optical mineralogy, classification of minerals, diagnostic physical
and optical properties of rock forming minerals.
Igneous rocks – classification, forms and textures, magmatic differentiation; phase diagrams and trace elements as monitors
of magma evolutionary processes; mantle melting models and derivation and primary magmas. Metamorphism; controlling factors,
metamorphic facies, grade and basic types; metamorphism of pelitic, mafic and impure carbonate rocks; role of fluids in
metamorphism; metamorphic P-T-t paths and their tectonic significance; Igneous and metamorphic provinces of India; structure
and petrology of sedimentary rocks; sedimentary processes and environments, sedimentary facies, basin analysis; association
of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks with tectonic setting.
Stress, strain and material response; brittle and ductile deformation; primary and secondary structures; geometry and genesis
of folds, faults, joints, unconformities; cleavage, schistosity and lineation; methods of projection, tectonites and their
significance; shear zone; superposed folding; basement cover relationship.
Morphology, classification and geological significance of important invertebrates, vertebrates, microfossils and palaeoflora;
stratigraphic principles and Indian stratigraphy.
Geomorphic processes and agents; development and evolution of landforms; slope and drainage; processes on deep oceanic and
near-shore regions; quantitative and applied geomorphology.
Ore mineralogy and optical properties of ore minerals; ore forming processes vis-à-vis ore-rock association (magmatic,
hydrothermal, sedimentary and metamorphogenic ores); ores and metamorphism; fluid inclusions as an ore genetic tool;
prospecting and exploration of economic minerals; sampling, ore reserve estimation, geostatistics, mining methods. Coal and
petroleum geology; origin and distribution of mineral and fuel deposits in India; marine geology and ocean resources; ore
dressing and mineral economics.
Cosmic abundance; meteorites; geochemical evolution of the earth; geochemical cycles; distribution of major, minor and trace
elements; elements of geochemical thermodynamics, isotope geochemistry; geochemistry of waters including solution equilibria
and water rock interaction.
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, air-photo interpretation, multispectral remote sensing in visible,
infrared, thermal IR and microwave regions, digital processing of satellite images. GIS – basic concepts, raster and vector
PART B – SECTION 2: GEOPHYSICS
The earth as a planet; different motions of the earth; gravity field of the earth, Clairaut’s theorem, size and shape of
earth; geochronology; 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,
geomagnetic field, paleomagnetism; oceanic and continental lithosphere; plate tectonics; heat flow; upper and lower
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. Basic concepts of forward and inverse problems of geophysics,
Ill-posedness of inverse problems.
'G' and 'g' units of measurement, absolute and relative gravity measurements; Land, airborne, shipborne and bore-hole
gravity surveys; various corrections in gravity data reduction – free air, Bouguer and isostatic anomalies; density
estimates of rocks; regional and residual gravity separation; principle of equivalent stratum; upward and downward
continuation; 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.
Earth’s magnetic field – elements, origin and units of measurement, magnetic susceptibility of rocks and measurements,
magnetometers, Land, airborne and marine magnetic surveys, corrections, 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.
Conduction of electricity through rocks, electrical conductivities of metals, non-metals, 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, environmental and engineering applications.
Basic concept of EM induction, Origin of electromagnetic field, elliptic polarization, methods of measurement for different
source-receiver configuration, components in EM measurements. Skin-depth, interpretation and applications; earth’s natural
electromagnetic field, tellurics, magneto-tellurics; geomagnetic depth sounding principles, electromagnetic profiling,
methods of measurement, processing of data and interpretation. Geological applications including groundwater, mining and
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 minerals (radioactive and non radioactive) deposits, half-life, decay
constant, radioactive equilibrium, G M counter, scintillation detector, semiconductor devices, application of radiometric for
exploration and radioactive waste disposal.
Geophysical inverse problems; non-uniqueness and stability of solutions; quasi-linear and non-linear methods including
Tikhonov’s regularization method, Backus-Gilbert method, simulated annealing, genetic algorithms and artificial neural
For more information refer: http://gate.iitk.ac.in/