Continental crust

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The thickness of the Earth's crust (km).

The continental crust is the layer of granitic, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks which form the continents and the areas of shallow seabed close to their shores, known as continental shelves.

It consists mostly of sialic rock. It is less dense than the material of the Earth's mantle, which consists of mafic rock. Continental crust is also less dense than oceanic crust, though it is considerably thicker; mostly 35 to 40 km versus the average oceanic thickness of around 7–10 km. About 40% of the Earth's surface is now underlain by continental crust.

References[change | edit source]

  • Butler, Rob, Making new continents Accessed 01/29/2006
  • Saal, A.L., Rudnick R.L., Ravizza G.E. & Hart S.R., 1998. Re-Os isotope evdence for the composition, formation and age of the lower crust. Nature, 39317, 1998.
  • Taylor and McLennan, 1995, Model of growth of continental crust through time in John Victor Walther, 2005, Essentials Of Geochemistry, Jones & Bartlett, ISBN 0-7637-2642-7
  • von Huene, R. and D.W. Scholl, 1991. "Observations at convergent margins concerning sediment subduction, subduction erosion, and the growth of continental crust." Reviews of Geophysics, 29, 279-316.

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