:"Argillite" may also refer to Argillite, Kentucky."

An argillite (pronEng|ˈɑrdʒɨlaɪt) is a fine-grained sedimentary rock composed predominantly of indurated clay particles. Argillites are basically lithified muds and oozes. They contain variable amounts of silt-sized particles. The argillites grade into shale when the fissile layering typical of shale is developed. Another name for poorly lithified argillites is "mudstone". These rocks, although variable in composition, are typically high in aluminium and silica with variable alkali and alkaline earth cations. The term "pelitic" or "pelite" is often applied to these sediments and rocks. Metamorphism of argillites produces slate, phyllite, and pelitic schist.

The Haida carvings of Queen Charlotte Islands along the coast of British Columbia are notable aboriginal art treasures created from a type of a hard, fine black silt argillite, sometimes called "black slate", which occurs only at a quarry on a Slatechuck Mountain in the upper basin of Slatechuck Creek, near the town of Skidegate on Graham Island ("chuck" is the Chinook Jargon term for water, and can mean a creek or lake). While at one time, around 1900, it was shipped to Victoria for manufacturing, today the Haida have a monopoly on use of the argillite. This artwork has been of high quality and prized around the world since the Haida first began carving it to sell to sailors around 1800, and modern Haida carvers continue the tradition today, with stunning design and skill.


* [ R. V. Dietrich, 2005, "Gemrocks: Argillite"] Accessed Dec. 22, 2005.
* [ Museum of Civilization Haida argillite gallery]
* [ BC Govt MINFILE report] , includes history and geological data.

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  • Argillite — Ar gil*lite, n. [Gr. ? clay + lite.] (Min.) Argillaceous schist or slate; clay slate. Its colors is bluish or blackish gray, sometimes greenish gray, brownish red, etc. {Ar gil*lit ic}, a. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • argillite — [är′jə līt΄] n. [L argilla (see ARGILLACEOUS) + ITE1] a hardened mudstone showing no slatelike cleavage …   English World dictionary

  • argillite — argilitas statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Molių grupės nuosėdinė uoliena, susidedanti iš hidrožėručių, montmorilonito ir chlorito grupių mineralų. atitikmenys: angl. argillite rus. аргиллит …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • argillite — noun Date: 1795 a compact argillaceous rock cemented by silica and having no slaty cleavage …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • argillite — argillitic /ahr jeuh lit ik/, adj. /ahr jeuh luyt /, n. any compact sedimentary rock composed mainly of clay materials; clay stone. [1785 95; < L argill(a) ARGIL + ITE1] * * * …   Universalium

  • argillite — noun A fine grained sedimentary rock, intermediate between shale and slate, sometimes used as a building material …   Wiktionary

  • argillite — n. any rock made up of layers of clay sediment …   English contemporary dictionary

  • argillite — [ α:dʒɪlʌɪt] noun Geology a sedimentary rock formed from consolidated clay. Origin C18: from L. argilla clay + ite1 …   English new terms dictionary

  • argillite — ar·gil·lite …   English syllables

  • argillite — ar•gil•lite [[t]ˈɑr dʒəˌlaɪt[/t]] n. gel pet any compact sedimentary rock composed mainly of clay materials; clay stone • Etymology: 1785–95; < L argill(a) clay (< Gk árgillos, der. of argós white) + ite I ar gil•lit′ic ˈlɪt ɪk adj …   From formal English to slang

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