Sedimentary rock
Clay minerals and quartz

Shale is a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock formed from mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals (hydrous aluminium phyllosilicates, e.g. kaolin, Al2Si2O5(OH)4) and tiny fragments (silt-sized particles) of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite.[1] Shale is characterized by its tendency to split into thin layers (laminae) less than one centimeter in thickness. This property is called fissility.[1] Shale is the most common sedimentary rock.[2]

The term shale is sometimes applied more broadly, as essentially a synonym for mudrock, rather than in the more narrow sense of clay-rich fissile mudrock.[3]

  1. ^ a b Blatt, Harvey and Robert J. Tracy (1996) Petrology: Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic, 2nd ed., Freeman, pp. 281–292 ISBN 0-7167-2438-3
  2. ^ "Rocks: Materials of the Lithosphere – Summary". Archived from the original on 24 December 2014. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  3. ^ Boggs, Sam (2006). Principles of sedimentology and stratigraphy (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 139. ISBN 0131547283.

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