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GATE 2014 Syllabus for Geology and Geophysics (GG)

The syllabus for GATE in 2014 will comprise of the similar pattern of questions although there are some basic alteration has been applied to the conduct of GATE 2014. The applicants have to appear for the general section of the examination and have to select any one of the 22 defined papers for examination. These 22 papers are catering to special branches of Engineering and will test the comprehension skills of the candidate applying from his/ her core branch of Engineering.

Common Section:

This section will comprise of two major sections to test the Verbal Ability and the Numerical Ability:

Verbal Ability: English Language Comprehension, Grammar, Sentence Formation, Critical Reasoning, Verbal Analysis, Grouping of Words and Structural Analysis.

Numerical Ability: Numerical Analysis, Data Computation, Estimation, and Numerical Interpretation Skills.

Subjective 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; 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 ofIndia.  Engineering properties of rocks and soils.  Ground water geology.Geological and geographical distribution of ore, coal and petroleum resources ofIndia.

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.


Crystalsymmetry, 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.

Oremineralogy 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 inIndia; 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 mode operation.


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 atmospheric phenomena.

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 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 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 network.


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