Slate Rock


Slate rock is a low-grade regional metamorphic rock. 

It forms when shale, mudstone, siltstone or felsic igneous rocks are buried and pressures and temperatures rise.





It is a fine grained rock with a slaty cleavage - it is foliated, and it breaks easily along the planes into thin sheets.

This is because mica crystals are all orientated in the same direction, and the bonds between the layers are weak.

 slate rock
 By spodzone via Flickr.com


Other major minerals are quartz and feldspar.

 slate roof tile 
 By Nicholas Jones via Flickr.com

Graphite and pyrite may also be present.

 slate roofing material 
 By JMG via Flickr.com

Different minerals give it different colours.

 slate wall tiles 
 By Huffy Houghoughi via Flickr.com

Iron oxides for example may make it red, while if formed in oxygen-poor conditions, the rocks is black.

 slate floor tile
 
By spodzone via Flickr.com

Unusual for a metamorphic rock is that fossils may be present.

 slate tile flooring 
 
By Mike Wilson via Flickr.com

This illustrates its low grade - the changes haven't been major.

 garden slate
 By Brian Smithson via Flickr.com

Slate is used in roofing, flooring, countertops, blackboards, and electrical panels.













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