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Rock at Gunung Pass

The geology of Gunung Pass consists of a sequence of sedimentary rocks, probably


of Palaeozoic age, which have undergone low-to-medium grade dynamic
metamorphism. The metasedimentary rocks outcrop in a 4 km-wide shear zone
contained within Mesozoic granites. The landslide has taken place in quartz mica
schists which at the base contain persistent graphite schists layers les than 30 cm
thick. The slope comprises of granite and combinations of several metasedimentary
rocks, namely schists and phyllites. About 63% of the whole stretch is underlain by
granite while the rest is metasedimentary rock (Omar, 2002). Schist rock is dominant
for the KM 46 Simpang Pulai-Cameron Highland road. The bedding planes and
foliation of the schist are almost parallel each other. This schist is well foliated. The
schist is postulated to be of Upper Palaeozoic age (Gobbett, 1972. At Mount. Pass
we have found many kinds of rocks, But the most rock that shown up is schists rock.
Schist is a foliated metamorphic rock made up of plate-shaped mineral grains that
are large enough to see with an unaided eye. It usually forms on a continental side of
a convergent plate boundary where sedimentary rocks, such as shales and
mudstones, have been subjected to compressive forces, heat, and chemical activity.
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. If the schist is metamorphosed further, it might become a
granular rock known as gneiss.

A rock does not need a specific mineral composition to be called “schist.” It only
needs to contain enough platy metamorphic minerals in alignment to exhibit distinct
foliation. This texture allows the rock to be broken into thin slabs along the alignment
direction of the platy mineral grains. This type of breakage is known as schistocyte.

In rare cases the platy metamorphic minerals are not derived from the clay minerals
of a shale. The platy minerals can be graphite, talc, or hornblende from
carbonaceous, basaltic, or other sources.
Schist is a rock that has been exposed to a moderate level of heat and a moderate
level of pressure. Let’s trace its formation from its protoliths - the sedimentary rocks
from which it forms. These are usually shales or mudstones.

In the convergent plate boundary environment, heat and chemical activity transform
the clay minerals of shales and mudstones into platy mica minerals such as
muscovite, biotite, and chlorite. The directed pressure pushes the transforming clay
minerals from their random orientations into a common parallel alignment where the
long axes of the platy minerals are oriented perpendicular to the direction of the
compressive force. This transformation of minerals marks the point in the rock’s
history when it is no longer sedimentary but becomes the low-grade metamorphic
rock known as “slate.”

Slate is has a dull luster, it can be split into thin sheets along the parallel mineral
alignments, and the thin sheets will ring when they are dropped onto a hard surface.
If the slate is exposed to additional metamorphism, the mica grains in the rock will
begin to grow. The grains will elongate in a direction that is perpendicular to the
direction of compressive force. This alignment and increase in mica grain size gives
the rock a silky luster. At that point the rock can be called a “phyllite.” When the platy
mineral grains have grown large enough to be seen with the unaided eye, the rock
can be called “schist.” Additional heat, pressure, and chemical activity might convert
the schist into a granular metamorphic rock known as “gneiss.”