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GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022, Exam Pattern and Preparation Books

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Sonal Vaid

Content Curator | Updated On - Sep 1, 2021

GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022 consists of 70% of the questions asked from subject topics and 15% of the questions will be from the general aptitude section, and 15% from Engineering Mathematics. If the candidates appear for Geology and Geophysics as their first paper, they can only choose from the following options as their second paper- Mining Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, and Physics. Also Check GATE Paper Analysis

GATE Geology and Geophysics consist of 2 parts, Part A and Part B. Part B is further divided into two subsections, Geology and Geophysics respectively. Candidates will have to attempt the questions of Part A and questions of either Section-1 or Section-2 in Part-B. GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022 is based on the core subjects only. Check GATE Exam Pattern 2022

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GATE GG Syllabus

GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Syllabus - Common Section

GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Syllabus for the common section has to be attempted by all the candidates attempting the subject: 

  • Earth and planetary system – terrestrial planets and moons of the solar system; size, shape, internal structure and composition of the earth; concept of isostasy; elements of seismology – body and surface waves, propagation of body waves in the earth’s interior; Heat flow within the earth; Gravitational field of the Earth; geomagnetism and paleomagnetism; continental drift; plate tectonics – relationship with earthquakes, volcanism and mountain building; continental and oceanic crust – composition, structure and thickness.
  • Weathering and soil formation; landforms created by river, wind, glacier, ocean and volcanoes.
  • Basic structural geology - stress, strain and material response; brittle and ductile deformation; nomenclature and classification of folds and faults.
  • Crystallography – basic crystal symmetry and concept of point groups. Mineralogy – silicate crystal structure and determinative mineralogy of common rock forming minerals.
  • Petrology of common igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
  • Geological time scale; Geochronology and absolute time. Stratigraphic principles; major stratigraphic divisions of India.
  • Mineral, coal and petroleum resources of India.
  • Introduction to remote sensing.
  • Engineering properties of rocks and soils.
  • Elements of hydrogeology.
  • Principles and applications of gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, seismic and radiometric methods of prospecting for oil, mineral and groundwater; introductory well logging.

GATE 2022 Geology Syllabus

  • Geomorphology - Geomorphic processes and agents; development and evolution of landforms in continental and oceanic settings; tectonic geomorphology.
  • Structural geology – Forces and mechanism of rock deformation; primary and secondary structures; geometry and genesis of planar and linear structures (bedding, cleavage, schistosity, lineation); folds, faults, joints and unconformities; Stereographic projection; shear zones, thrusts and superposed folding; basement-cover relationship. Interpretation of geological maps.
  • Crystallography and mineralogy- Elements of crystal symmetry, form and twinning; crystallographic projection; crystal chemistry; classification of minerals, physical and optical properties of rock- forming minerals.
  • Geochemistry – 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 high temperature and low temperature geochemical thermodynamics; isotopic evolution of the crust and the mantle, mantle reservoirs; geochemistry of water and water-rock interaction.
  • Igneous petrology – Classification, forms, textures and genesis of common igneous rocks; magmatic differentiation; binary and ternary phase diagrams; major and trace elements as monitors of partial melting and magma evolutionary processes. Mantle plumes, hotspots and large igneous provinces.
  • Sedimentology– Texture, structure and sedimentary processes; petrology of common sedimentary rocks; Sedimentary facies and environments, cyclicities in sedimentary succession; provenance and basin analysis. Important sedimentary basins of India
  • Metamorphic petrology – Structures and textures of metamorphic rocks. Physico-chemical conditions of metamorphism and concept of metamorphic facies, grade and baric types; chemographic projections; metamorphism of pelitic, mafic and impure carbonate rocks; role of bulk composition including fluids in metamorphism; thermobarometry and metamorphic P-T-t paths, and their tectonic significance.
  • Paleobiology - Diversity of life through time, mass extinctions- causes and effects; taphonomy – processes of fossilization. Taxonomy. Morphology and functional morphology of invertebrates (bivalves, brachiopods, gastropods, echinoids, ammonites); microfossils (foraminifera, ostracoda, conodonts, bryozoa); Vertebrate paleontology (Equus, Probicidea, Human); Paleobotany (plant, spores, pollens). Basic concepts of ecology/paleoecology; classification - ecological and taxonomic schemes (diversity and richness). Fossils and paleoenvironments.
  • Stratigraphy – Principles of stratigraphy and concepts of correlation; Lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy. Principles of sequence stratigraphy and applications. Stratigraphy of peninsular and extra-peninsular India. Boundary problems in Indian stratigraphy.
  • Resource geology - Ore-mineralogy; ore forming processes vis-à-vis ore-rock association (magmatic, hydrothermal, sedimentary, supergene and meta morphogenic ores); fluid inclusions as ore genetic tools. 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. Distribution of mineral, fossil and nuclear fuel deposits in India.
  • Global tectonics – Plate motions, driving mechanisms, plate boundaries, supercontinent cycles.
  • Applied geology – Physico-mechanical properties of rocks and soils; rock index tests; Rock failure criteria (Mohr-Coulomb, Griffith and Hoek-Brown criteria); shear strength of rock discontinuities; rock mass classifications (RMR and Q Systems); in-situ stresses; rocks as construction materials; geological factors in the construction of engineering structures including dams, tunnels and excavation sites. Analysis of slope stability. Natural hazards (landslide, volcanic, seismogenic, coastal) and mitigation. Principles of climate change
  • Hydrogeology – Groundwater flow and 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 2022 Geophysics Syllabus

  • Solid-Earth Geophysics - 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.
  • Geodesy - Gravitational Field of the Earth; Geoid; Ellipsoid; Geodetic Reference Systems; Datum; Everest (1830) and WGS 84 (1984) systems; GPS and DGPS; Levelling and Surveying.
  • Earthquake Seismology - Elements of elasticity theory- stress and strain tensors, Generalized Hooke’s Law; Body and Surface Waves; Rotational, dilatational, irrorational and equivolumnal waves. Reflection and refraction of elastic waves; Homogeneous and evanescent waves and bounded waves; Eikonal Equation and Ray theory; earthquakes-causes and measurements, magnitude and intensity, focal mechanisms; earthquake quantification, source characteristics, seismotectonics and seismic hazards; digital seismographs, Earthquake statistics, wave propagation in elastic media, quantifying earthquake source from seismological data. Elements of Seismic Tomography.
  • Potential and Time Varying Fields - 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 and time- varying field theory.
  • Gravity Methods - Absolute and relative gravity measurements; Gravimeters; Land, airborne, shipborne and bore-hole gravity surveys; Tensorial Gravity sensors and 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.
  • Magnetic Methods - Elements of Earth’s magnetic field, units of measurement, magnetic susceptibility of rocks and measurements, magnetometers and magnetic gradiometers, Land, airborne and marine magnetic and magnetic gradiometer 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 due to geometrical and irregular shaped bodies; Image processing concepts in processing of magnetic anomaly maps; Depth rules; Interpretation of processed magnetic anomaly data; derivative, analytic signal and Euler Depth Solutions. Applications of gravity and magnetic methods for mineral and oil exploration.
  • Electrical Methods - Conduction of electricity through rocks, electrical conductivities of metals, non- metals, rock forming minerals and different rocks, concepts of D.C. resistivity measurement and depth of investigation; Apparent Resistivity and Apparent Chargeability, Concept of Negative Apparent Resistivity and Negative Apparent Chargeability; Theory of Reciprocity, Sounding and Profiling, Various electrode arrangements, application of linear filter theory, Sounding curves over multi-layered earth, Dar-Zarrouk parameters, reduction of layers, Triangle of anisotropy, interpretation of resistivity field data, Principles of equivalence and suppression, self-potential method and its origin; Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT); , Induced polarization, time and frequency domain IP measurements; interpretation and applications of SP, resistivity and IP data sets for ground-water exploration, mineral exploration, environmental and engineering applications.
  • Electromagnetic Methods - Geo-electromagnetic spectrum; Biot Savart’s Law; Maxwell’s Equation, Helmholtz Equation, Basic concept of EM induction in the earth, Skin-depth, elliptic polarization, in- phase and quadrature components, phasor diagrams; Response function and response parameters; Ground and Airborne Methods, measurements in different source-receiver configurations; Earth’s natural electromagnetic methods-tellurics, geomagnetic depth sounding and magnetotellurics; Electromagnetic profiling and Sounding, Time domain EM method; EM scale modeling, processing of EM data and interpretation; Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Methods; Effect of conducting overburden; Geological applications including groundwater, mineral environmental and hydrocarbon exploration.
  • Seismic methods - 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, digital recording systems, digital formats, field layouts, seismic noise and noise profile analysis, optimum geophone grouping, noise cancellation by shot and geophone arrays, 2D, 3D and 4D seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation; CDP stacking charts, binning, filtering, 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, multi-component seismics and seismic interferometry. Reservoir geophysics- Rock Physics and Petrophysics. Geophysical Survey Design.
  • Geophysical signal processing - sampling theorem, Nyquist frequency, aliasing, Fourier series, periodic waveform, Fourier and Hilbert transform, Z-transform and wavelet transform; power spectrum, delta function, autocorrelation, cross correlation, convolution, deconvolution, principles of digital filters, windows, poles and zeros.
  • Geophysical Well Logging - Principles and techniques of geophysical well-logging, SP, resistivity, induction, gamma ray, neutron, density, sonic, temperature, dip meter, caliper, nuclear magnetic resonance- longitudinal and transverse relaxation, CPMG sequence, porosity characterization, cement bond logging, micro-logs. Pulsed Neutron Devices and Spectroscopy; Multi-Array and Triaxial Induction Devices; Quantitative evaluation of formations from well logs; Logging while drilling; High angle and horizontal wells; Clay Quantification; Lithology and Porosity Estimation; Saturation and Permeability Estimation; application of borehole geophysics in groundwater, mineral and oil exploration.
  • Radioactive Methods - 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.
  • Geophysical Inversion - 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, quasi- linear and non-linear methods including Tikhonov’s regularization method, Singular Value Decomposition, Backus-Gilbert method, simulated annealing, genetic algorithms, swarm intelligence, machine learning and artificial neural networks. Statistics of misfit and likelihood, Bayesian construction of posterior probabilities, sparsity promoting L1 optimization. Ambiguity and uncertainty in geophysical interpretation.

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

GATE GG Exam Pattern

GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Exam Pattern

GATE Geology & Geophysics Exam Pattern 2022 is defined paper-wise depending upon the candidates’ branches.

  • GATE GG will be held in an online mode.
  • The total number of questions in the GATE GG is 65.
  • Applicants have to attempt all the questions in a duration of three hours.
  • The maximum marks for the paper is 100.
  • The exam includes 2 types of Questions - Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) & Numerical Answer Type (NAT)
Section  Distribution of Marks Total Marks Types of questions
General Aptitude 5 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

GATE GG scheme 2022

Type of question Negative marking for wrong answer Marking for correct answer
  • ⅓ for 1 mark questions.
  • ⅔ for 2 marks questions.
1 or 2 marks
NATs No negative marking  1 or 2 marks

Also Check GATE Preparation Tips

GATE GG Weightage

GATE 2022 Geology and Geophysics: Weightage of Important Topics

Given below is the weightage of the important topics in GATE GG. The students are required to commence their preparation accordingly. The maximum amount of time must be devoted to the section which carries the maximum weightage. 

 Check Detailed GATE GG Paper Analysis

GATE Paper Sections GATE Marks Distribution
Subject Questions (Core Subject) 70% of the total marks.
Engineering Mathematics 15% of the total marks.
General Aptitude (GA) 15% of the total marks.
GATE GG Preparation

GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Preparation Books

Book Name Author Name
Engineering Geology R. Nagarajan, A. Parthasarathy, V. Panchapakesan
Principles of Engineering Geology K M Bangar
A textbook of Geology G. B. Mahapatra
Engineering and General Geology Parbin Singh
Structural Geology Marland P Billings

Previous Year GATE GG Question Paper

Attempt the following previous year’s question papers for GATE GG to secure high scores in the first attempt. Also Check GATE Preparation Tips 

Year Link for GATE CSE Question Paper Link for GATE CSE Answer Key
2021 Check Here Check Here 
2020 Check Here  Check Here 
2019 Check Here  Check Here 
2018 Check Here  Check Here 
2017 Check Here  Check Here 
GATE GG Question Paper

GATE Geology & Geophysics Sample Questions

  • 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 2022 Syllabus of Other Subjects

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

Frequently Asked Questions

GATE Geology & Geophysics Syllabus 2022 FAQs

Ques: What are various sections or parts in GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022?

Ans: GATE 2022 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 Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022?

Ans: The marking of GATE 2022 Geology and Geophysics is mentioned below in the table:

Section  Distribution of Marks Total Marks
GA 5 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 in GATE 2022 Geology and Geophysics?

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 in GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022?

Ans: The syllabus of general aptitude will include topics like Grammer, Sentence completion, FInd the errors, Antonyms, Synonyms, etc. The students need to practice these sections thoroughly before appearing for the exam. 

Ques. What are the most important topics in GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022 2022?

Ans. The most important topics in GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022 2022 are as follows: 

  • Geomorphology 
  • Structural geology
  • Crystallography and mineralogy
  • Geochemistry 
  • Igneous petrology
  • Sedimentology
  • Metamorphic petrology
  • Paleobiology 
  • Stratigraphy 
  • Resource geology
  • Global tectonics
  • Applied geology
  • Hydrogeology 
  • Basic principles of remote sensing 

Ques. What are the most important topics in GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022? 

Ans. The most important topics in GATE Geology & Geophysics (GG) Syllabus 2022 are as follows: 

  • Solid-Earth Geophysics 
  • Geodesy 
  • Earthquake Seismology 
  • Potential and Time Varying Fields 
  • Gravity Methods 
  • Magnetic Methods
  • Electrical Methods
  • Electromagnetic Methods 
  • Seismic methods 
  • Geophysical signal processing
  • Geophysical Well Logging 
  • Radioactive Methods
  • Geophysical Inversion

Ques. Which is the most important subject in GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Syllabus?

Ans. The most important subject in GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Syllabus is Geology or Geophysics, whichever the candidates choose as it has the highest weightage. The weightage depends upon the core subjects. 

Ques. What kind of questions are asked in GATE Geology & Geophysics Syllabus 2022?

Ans. In GATE Geology & Geophysics Syllabus 2022, both MCQs and NATs are asked. The candidates need to Check GATE Exam Pattern 2022 before appearing for the exam. This will boost their confidence.

Ques. What are some good books for completing GATE 2022 Geology & Geophysics Syllabus?

Ans. Some good books for GATE 2022 

Name of the Book Author/Publisher
Engineering Geology R. Nagarajan, A. Parthasarathy, V. Panchapakesan
Principals of Engineering Geology K M Bangar
A text book of Geology  G. B. Mahapatra
Engineering and General Geology Parbin Singh

*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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