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Oil shale

Oil Shale AMNH/R.Mickens

Exhibition Text

Oil shales form when organic matter trapped in layers of clay sediment is transformed by bacteria into petroleum. This sample was deposited during the Eocene (36 to 58 million years ago) at the bottom of an alkaline lake.

For Educators

Topic: Earth Science

Subtopic: Minerals and Resources

Keywords: Oil shales, Geology, Natural resources, petroleum

Audience: General