Sample of shale

Sample of shale

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Caption: Sample of shale. Shale is a dense sedimentary rock that forms when layers of mud are buried and compressed. Mud is largely composed of clay particles. When these are compacted the resulting layers can be readily separated along the clay particle surfaces. Shales are extremely common and may contain abundant fossils, including marine shells which are made of calcium carbonate. A shale rich in carbonate is termed calcarous.

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