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Any of the large stable areas of low relief (little variation in elevations) in the Earth's crust that are composed of Precambrian crystalline rocks. These rocks are always more than 570 million years old, and some are as old as 2–3 billion years. Continental shields occur on each of the continents.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on continental shield, visit Britannica.com.
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