Definition of continental crust in US English:

continental crust


  • The relatively thick part of the earth's crust that forms the large landmasses. It is generally older and more complex than the oceanic crust.

    • ‘Thus, the voluminous magmatic rocks in the eastern North China craton represent a significant addition of juvenile continental crust in the Mesozoic.’
    • ‘If we follow the conventional hypothesis these blocks reflect a normal product of the stretching phase of the continental crust.’
    • ‘The thickness of the continental crust, some 30 to 50 kilometers on land, would wear out any drill bit through heat and friction long before it got anywhere close to the enigmatic boundary layer.’
    • ‘Fragment by fragment, formed in the beginning from island chains similar to modern-day volcanic island arcs, the continental crust was born, and so the external land cover of the planet.’
    • ‘When continental crust is thickened, for example, during orogenesis, it attempts to return to normal thickness.’
    • ‘It is underlain by continental crust (a Mesozoic nappe stack).’
    • ‘This potential energy difference primarily results from the thick buoyant continental crust.’
    • ‘Along the transform boundaries separating the domains, additional stress probably built up along extension of the transform zones into the extended continental crust.’
    • ‘The subalkaline character of the magmatic activity, combined with the prevalence of acidic effusive rocks, is characteristic of an orogenic suite developed on continental crust.’
    • ‘In the early Himalayan case described here, the driving force would have been slab pull with Indian Plate continental crust and lithospheric mantle being subducted at a steep subduction angle.’
    • ‘The apparent expression of the crustal thinning is thus only a very small amount of extension in the upper continental crust.’
    • ‘These are typically lower for source areas associated with oceanic island arcs than those associated with continental crust.’
    • ‘Researchers drilled and extracted cores from the continental crust as deep as 7.62 miles.’
    • ‘Nor will California fall into the sea, because the fault zone only extends about 15 km deep, which is only about a quarter of the thickness of the continental crust.’
    • ‘When the continental crust stretches beyond its limits, tension cracks begin to appear on the Earth's surface.’
    • ‘Enormous pressures are produced in this region, for the continental crust and the oceanic crust are moving toward each other.’
    • ‘The deep continental crust is generally unavailable for direct observation, but it can be studied from crustal xenoliths, where available.’
    • ‘In contrast to the continental crust, the oceanic crust is young, thin, and chemically magnesium-rich.’
    • ‘Perhaps the best known is the hotspot presumed to exist under the continental crust in the region of Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming.’
    • ‘Mass balance calculations originally indicated that melting of primitive upper mantle produced the continental crust.’