GATE Geology & Geophysics Syllabus 2018

Last Updated - March 10 2018

GATE Syllabus for Geology & Geophysics comprises the topics from common section to Geology & Geophysics, Geology and Geophysics separately. GATE exam will be of 100 marks with 65 questions. The period of the examination is three hours. GATE exam will have core subject and general aptitude questions.

85% of the questions are asked from subject topics and 15% of the questions are from general aptitude section. The aspirants appearing in GATE 2018 exam should know the clear syllabus. GATE Syllabus for Geology & Geophysics includes three sections which are:

  • Geophysics
  • Geology
  • Common Section on Geology & Geophysics (GG)

GATE 2018 is organizeed on February 03, 04, 10 and 11, 2018 in multiple sessions. The paper of Geology & Geophysics scheduled for February 04, 2018 in session two (02:00 pm – 05:00 pm). The paper code is GG.

GATE is a national level online test which is organizeed for admission to M.Tech and Ph.D. courses. This year, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati will hold the GATE.  It is organizeed by IITs and IISc Bangalore on a rotational basis.


Common Section of Geology & 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 procedures; physical oceanography; geomagnetism and palaeomagnetism, continental drift, plate tectonics.

Weathering; soil patterning; an action of river, wind, glacier and ocean; earthquakes, volcanism and orogeny. Engineering properties of rocks and soils. Geological and geographical distribution of ore, coal and petroleum resources of India. Basic structural geology, mineralogy and petrology. Geological time scale and geochronology; stratigraphic principles; major stratigraphic divisions of India. Groundwater geology.

Introduction to remote sensing. Engineering properties of rocks and soils. Principles and applications of gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, seismic and radiometric methods of prospecting for oil, mineral and groundwater; introductory good logging. Groundwater geology.


Geology Section of GATE Syllabus 2018

Geomorphic procedures and agents; development and evolution of landforms; slope and drainage; procedures 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; tectonics 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 procedures. Sedimentary rocks – texture and structure; sedimentary procedures and environments, sedimentary facies, provenance and basin analysis. Metamorphic rocks – structures and textures.

Physico-chemical conditions of metamorphism and concept of metamorphic facies, grade and basic types; metamorphism of pelitic, mafic and impure carbonate rocks; the 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. Overview of Himalayan Geology. Principles of Stratigraphy and concepts of correlation – lithostratigraphy, biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy. Indian stratigraphy – Precambrian and Phanerozoic.

Ore-mineralogy and optical properties of ore minerals; ore-forming procedures 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. Origin and distribution of mineral, fossil and nuclear fuel deposits in India. Ore-dressing and mineral economics. Prospecting and exploration of economic mineral deposits - sampling, ore reserve estimation, geostatistics, mining methods.

Engineering properties of rocks and soils; rocks as construction materials; the role of geology in the construction of engineering structures including dams, tunnels and excavation sites; natural hazards. Groundwater geology – exploration, well hydraulics and water quality. Basic principles of remote sensing – energy sources and radiation principles, atmospheric absorption, the interaction of energy with earth’s surface, aerial photo interpretation, multispectral remote sensing invisible, infrared, thermal IR and microwave regions, digital procedures of satellite images. GIS – basic concepts, raster and vector method operations.


GATE Syllabus- Geophysics Section

The earth as a planet; various 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 various 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; different 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, Different 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 procedures concepts in procedures of magnetic anomaly maps; Interpretation of procedures magnetic anomaly data. Applications of gravity and magnetic methods for mineral and oil exploration.

Organizeion of electricity via rocks, electrical organizeivities of metals, nonmetals, rock forming minerals and various rocks, concepts of D.C. resistivity measurement, different 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, in-phase and quadrature components, Different EM methods, measurements in various source-receiver configurations, Earth’s natural electromagnetic field, telluric, magneto-telluric; geomagnetic depth sounding principles, electromagnetic profiling, Time domain EM method, EM scale modeling, procedures 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 patterns, field layouts, seismic noises and noise profile analysis, optimum geophone grouping, noise cancellation by shot and geophone arrays, 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition, procedureing and interpretation; CDP stacking charts, binning, filtering, dip-moveout, static and dynamic corrections, Digital seismic data procedureing, seismic deconvolution and migration methods, attribute analysis, bright and dim spots, seismic stratigraphy, high resolution seismics, VSP, AVO. Reservoir geophysics.

Geophysical signal procedures, sampling theorem, aliasing, Nyquist frequency, 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.

Principles and techniques of geophysical well-logging, SP, resistivity, induction, gamma ray, neutron, density, sonic, temperature, dip meter, calliper, nuclear magnetic, cement bond logging, micro-logs. Quantitative evaluation of patterns from good logs; well hydraulics and application of geophysical methods for groundwater study; application of borehole geophysics in groundwater, 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, semiorganizeor 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.


Paper Format for GATE 2018

GATE Exam Format is defined paper wise depending upon aspirants’ discipline. The exam comprises 2 types of Questions - Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) & Numerical Response Type (NAT). For this year, IIT Guwahati will hold the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE).

  • The exam is held in online method on multiple shifts.
  • GATE is consists of three sections i.e. Engineering Mathematics, General Aptitude, and specific subject of the paper.
  • There is no negative marking for NAT but it is eligible for MCQs.  For 1 mark MCQs, 1/3 marks will be deducted for every wrong response. Likewise, for 2 marks MCQs, 2/3 marks will be deducted.
  • Maximum marks for the paper is 100.
  • There is two type of questions namely- Multiple Choice types (MCQ) and Numerical Response Type (NAT).
  • Participants have to attempt all the questions in the period of three hours.
  • The total number of questions in GATE 2018 is 65.

Recommended Books for Preparation 


Sample Papers of GATE 2018

Aspirants who are applying for GATE 2018 Geology & Geophysics paper can refer the sample papers to get a fair idea of how the actual exam can be expected to be. By solving sample papers, you can get familiar with GATE Exam Format and difficulty level of the actual test.

The table below represents the last few years sample papers: 

Year wise sample paperLink
GG - Geology and Geophysics - 2017Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics – 2014Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics – 2013Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics – 2012Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics – 2011Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics – 2010Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics - 2009Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics - 2008Click Here
GG - Geology and Geophysics - 2007Click Here


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