Shale

Shale is the protolith of slate.

Rock group Sedimentary
Origin Clastic/detrital
Particle size Wentworth ≤ 62.5 µm
Special properties Fissile; splits along
bedding planes

Shale in Hand Sample

Shale is often fossiliferous, frequently preserves sedimentary structures such as crossbedding and mudcracks, and comes in varying shades of grey, tan, black, green, and red.

Fossiliferous Millboro Formation shale from West Virginia
Mudcracks and raindrop impressions in a red shale
Graptolites in black shale

Shale in Thin Section

Laminated shale, plane polars
Laminated shale, crossed polars

Laminated shale, plane polars

Laminated Shale, Plane Polars

Laminated shale in plane polarized light. Magnification: 100x Click here to see laminated shale rotating in crossed polars: Click here to explore a hand samp…

Laminated shale, crossed polars

Laminated Shale, Crossed Polars

Laminated shale in cross polarized light. Magnification: 100x Click here to see laminated shale rotating in plane polars: https://youtu.be/J8lp7IJaejk Click …

Oil shale, plane polars

Oil shale, plane polars

Magnification: 40x Click here for crossed polars: https://youtu.be/ySkoEEiCNzI

Oil shale, crossed polars

Oil shale, crossed polars

Magnification: 40x Click here for plane polars: https://youtu.be/AJW4wmW39r8