Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock identified by its bands and lenses of varying composition, while other bands contain granular minerals with an interlocking texture. Other bands contain platy or elongate minerals with evidence of preferred orientation. It is this banded appearance and texture - rather than composition - that define a gneiss.
Marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism. It is composed primarily of the mineral calcite (CaCO 3) and usually contains other minerals, such as clay minerals, micas, quartz, pyrite, iron oxides, and graphite.
Novaculite is a dense, hard, fine-grained siliceous rock that breaks with a conchoidal fracture. It forms from sediments deposited in marine environments where organisms such as diatoms (single-celled algae that secrete a hard shell composed of silicon dioxide) are abundant in the water.
Phyllite is a very common metamorphic rock, found in many parts of the world. It forms when sedimentary rocks are buried and mildly altered by the heat and directed pressure of regional metamorphism. These are almost always convergent plate boundary environments involving continental lithosphere.
Quartzite is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism. These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together.
This metamorphic environment is intense enough to convert the clay minerals of the sedimentary rocks into platy metamorphic minerals such as muscovite, biotite, and chlorite. To become schist, a shale must be metamorphosed in steps through slate and then through phyllite.
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated metamorphic rock that is created by the alteration of shale or mudstone by low-grade regional metamorphism. It is popular for a wide variety of uses such as roofing, flooring, and flagging because of its durability and attractive appearance.