: 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
krə-ˈtä-nik How to pronounce craton (audio)

Examples of craton in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The churning mantle can cause ripples at the craton’s base, setting off eruptions over tens of millions of years, helping explain why many kimberlites seem to migrate toward continental interiors over such a long time. Maya Wei-Haas, New York Times, 26 July 2023 The loss of the thick keel from a continent’s craton could have caused the land to bob upward like a buoy, wreaking havoc at the surface in a cascade of impacts that the team is still studying. Maya Wei-Haas, New York Times, 26 July 2023 Unlike the volcanoes that more commonly pop up near the thinner edges of continents, the eruptions that produced most kimberlites came through the thick, stable continental cores known as cratons. Maya Wei-Haas, New York Times, 26 July 2023 The Kaapvaal craton is the closest ancient continental crust to the Southwest Indian Ridge. Theo Nicitopoulos, Discover Magazine, 16 June 2022 The researchers performed computer simulations and found that up to 20 percent of the Kaapvaal craton could have been removed in this way and recycled to the ocean rift in as little as 100 million years. Theo Nicitopoulos, Discover Magazine, 16 June 2022 The craton, a stable interior of a continental plate, maybe one of two remaining pieces of Vaalbara, a theoretical supercontinent. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 11 June 2019 The first is the impact debris itself, which indicates that the Pilbara Craton was struck right at the onset of a transition that ultimately resulted in the formation of a craton. John Timmer, Ars Technica, 11 Aug. 2022 By analyzing the samples, analysts identified part of the North Atlantic craton, a remnant of the Earth’s ancient continental crust that stretched from Labrador to Scotland. Fox News, 24 Mar. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'craton.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1944, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of craton was in 1944

Dictionary Entries Near craton

Cite this Entry

“Craton.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jun. 2024.

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