Shale is a fine-grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clay minerals or muds. It is characterized by thin laminae breaking with an irregular curving fracture, often splintery and usually parallel to the often-indistinguishable bedding plane. This property is called fissility. Non-fissile rocks of similar composition but made of particles smaller than 1/16 mm are described as mudstones. Rocks with similar particle sizes but with less clay and therefore grittier are siltstones. Shale is the most common sedimentary rock.
- ^ "shale". Chambers Dictionary of Science and Technology. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd. 1999.
- ^ "Rocks: Materials of the Lithosphere - Summary". http://wps.prenhall.com/esm_lutgens_foundations_3/0,6540,354318-,00.html. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
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