craton

noun
cra·​ton | \ ˈkrā-ˌtän How to pronounce craton (audio) , ˈkra- How to pronounce craton (audio) \

Definition of craton

: a stable relatively immobile area of the earth's crust that forms the nuclear mass of a continent or the central basin of an ocean

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Other Words from craton

cratonic \ krə-​ˈtä-​nik How to pronounce cratonic (audio) , krā-​ , kra-​ \ adjective

Examples of craton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What went where: The landmass was likely centered around the North American Plate’s craton, which may have been smashed against what’s now East Antarctica and southern Africa. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Plate Tectonics: The Slow Dance of Our Planet's Crust," 12 June 2019 For instance, East Antarctica is a patchwork of old cratons and younger orogens. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Long-Lost Continents Under Antarctica Revealed in Old Satellite Data," 8 Nov. 2018 By studying the amount of cratons and orogens, researchers can compare the continental plates beneath Antarctica to other regions around the world. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Long-Lost Continents Under Antarctica Revealed in Old Satellite Data," 8 Nov. 2018 But unlike other cratons, East Antarctica didn’t seem to experience much in the way of seismic activity. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Earthquakes Rumble Under East Antarctica Much More Frequently Than Thought," 6 June 2018 This section of the continent is known as a shield or craton, a very old and stable portion of the continental crust. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Earthquakes Rumble Under East Antarctica Much More Frequently Than Thought," 6 June 2018 There are some found outside those cratons (such as the kimberlites of Kentucky and Arkansas) but they are still typically found where the rocks are old. Erik Klemetti, WIRED, "The Crazy Eruptions That Spit Up Diamonds," 5 May 2017 Most kimberlites are found in areas of the oldest rocks on Earth known as continental cratons. Erik Klemetti, WIRED, "The Crazy Eruptions That Spit Up Diamonds," 5 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'craton.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of craton

1944, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for craton

German Kraton, modification of Greek kratos strength — more at hard

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Time Traveler for craton

The first known use of craton was in 1944

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More from Merriam-Webster on craton

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about craton

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