Marcellus Shale

Video created by: Sarah Luckert

The Marcellus Shale is the name of the infamous rock formation in Pennsylvania. The Marcellus Formation is a black shale that may contain limestone beds and concentrations of iron pyrite and siderite. Its sedimentary structure, or bedding, is moderately well developed. Like most shale, it tends to split easily along the bedding plane, a property known as fissility. Lighter colored shale in the upper portion of the formation tends to split into small thin-edged fragments after exposure. These fragments may have rust stains from exposure of pyrite to air, and tiny gypsum crystals from the reaction between pyrite and limestone particles. Fresh exposures of the pyriteiferous shale may develop the secondary mineralization of orange limonite and the pale yellow efflorescence or bloom of sulfur, associated with acid rock drainage




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