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Foliation is any penetrative planar fabric present in rocks. Foliation is common to rocks affected by regional metamorphic compression typical of orogenic belts. Rocks exhibiting foliation include the typical metamorphic rock sequence of slate, phyllite, schist and gneiss. The slatey cleavage typical of slate is due to the parallel growth of microscopic mica crystals. In gneiss the foliation is more typically represented by compositional banding due to segregation of mineral phases. Foliated rock is also known as S-tectonite in sheared rock masses.

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