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shale

shale, sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation of mud or clay, having the property of splitting into thin layers parallel to its bedding planes. Shale tends to be fissile, i.e., it tends to split along planar surfaces between the layers of stratified rock. Shales comprise an estimated 55% of all sedimentary rocks. The composition of shale varies widely. Shales with very high silica content may have been formed when large quantities of diatoms and volcanic ash were present in the original sediment. Large numbers of fossils in shales may give them a high calcium content; such shales may grade into limestones. Shales that contain a large percentage of alumina are used as a source of that mineral in the manufacture of cement, and those that contain natural gas and petroleum have become a significant energy resource in the 21st cent. due to the use of hydraulic fracturing techniques in drilling. Shales containing abundant carbonaceous matter grade into bituminous coal.

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shale

shale / shāl/ • n. soft, finely stratified sedimentary rock that formed from consolidated mud or clay and can be split easily into fragile slabs. DERIVATIVES: shal·y (also shal·ey) adj.

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shale

shale Fine-grained, fissile, sedimentary rock composed of clay-sized and silt-sized particles of unspecified mineral composition. The noun may be qualified by an adjective (e.g. black shale, paper shale, and oil shale).

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shale

shale Fine-grained, fissile, sedimentary rock composed of clay-sized and silt-sized particles of unspecified mineral composition. The noun may be qualified by an adjective(e.g. black shale, paper shale, and oil shale).

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shale

shale XVIII prob. — G. schale (not used in this sense, but cf. schalstein laminated limestone, schalgebirge mountain system of thin strata) = OE. sċ(e)alu SCALE1..
So shaly (-Y1) XVII.

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shale

shale Common sedimentary rock formed from mud or clay. Characterized by very fine layering, it may contain various materials such as fossils, carbonaceous matter and oil.

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shale

shaleail, ale, assail, avail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, nail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, wail, wale, whale, Yale •Passchendaele • Airedale •Wensleydale • Clydesdale •Chippendale • Coverdale • Abigail •galingale • martingale • nightingale •farthingale • Windscale • timescale •blackmail • airmail •email, female •Ishmael • voicemail • vermeil

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