Reference Terms
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Continental crust

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 is less dense than the material of the Earth's mantle and thus "floats" on top of it.

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.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Continental crust", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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August 3, 2015

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