Imperial College Rock Library

Glossary: Pelite

Synonyms: metapelite
 
    Pelite is a term applied to metamorphic rocks derived from a fine-grained (<1/16 mm) sedimentary protolith. The term usually implies argillaceous, siliciclastic sediments as opposed to carbonate mudstones. Pelite is sometimes used as a rock name for metamorphic rocks whose classification is unclear, it is also used as a prefix for a metamorphic name, for example, pelitic schist, although this usage is not recommended since it is based on an interpretation. Metapelite is sometimes used as a synonym for pelite since strictly speaking the term pelite applies to the protolith of a metamorphic rock. The corresponding term for an arenaceous protolith is psammite. Metamorphic rocks with protoliths consisting of mixtures of sand and mud grade materials are described as semi-pelites.
 
The term metasediment is also used for metamorphic rocks with sedimentary protoliths. The sedimentary rock name can also be prefixed with meta, such as metasandstone.

Related Terms

metamorphic rock, psammite

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