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Summary

Scanning and transmission electron micrographs of various shales establish the close correlation between clay-flake orientation and fissility. The shales with the best fissility have the highest degree of preferred orientation. Randomness of clay flakes prevails in non-fissile claystones. The results suggest that the fabric of shales may result either from the deposition of dispersed clay or by the collapse of clay floccules after deposition.