Difference Between Shale vs Slate

shale   vs   slate

In line with the physical appearances, it would be difficult to detect the differences between the stones shale and slate. And even stone experts without analyzing the atomic weight and structure of these stones might mistake one for the other.

Aside from looks, another similarity is these stones are fine-grained rocks. However, under the microscope, it will reveal more distinction on what is what.

Taking a look at the Shale stone, it is a classic example of sedimentary rock, principally created from compacted mud, carefully created through the years. The mixture of the mud is mineral flakes, silt particles, minerals such as calcite and quartz. The amount of the components varies as nature controls it. Inspecting Shale stones reveal parallel layering, making it easier to crack. It also doesn’t shine when bestowed with light. As made from the water current, it also is easily affected by water, and gives a clay-like smell.

Slate came from volcanic ash or perhaps clay that has undergone the process of low grade metamorphism. A known homogenous metamorphic rock, the layers reflect a perpendicular compression making is stronger and harder. Being a volcano-eruption evolution, this rock has a more metallic feel and sound, and shines more when light pass on its surface.

Following are key Difference Between Shale vs Slate

  Shale Slate
Denote Metamorphic clay-like sediments, lightly compared into thin crumbly layers. Contain high concentrations of quartz, feldspars, pyrites amorphous silica, clay minerals, illite, kaolinite, smectite and chlorite. Fine grained rock, is homogenous and foliated metamorphic. Composed of clay or volcanic ash through a process known as low grade regional metamorphism.
Shape There are breaks along thin laminae or parallel layering which is one centimeter in thickness Not always corresponds to sedimentary layering, but usually in planes that are perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression.
Sound Thumping sound when hit Slight metallic sound when hit
Hardness Shale can be broken easily Cannot be broken easily, it is harder than shale
Texture Dull look in sunlight Looks silky and it shines in the sun


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