Present-day location of the Kaapvaal craton
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From Ancient Greek κράτος (krátos, strength, might).


  • IPA(key): /ˈkreɪtɒn/, /ˈkrætɒn/, /ˈkreɪtən/


craton (plural cratons)

  1. A part of the Earth’s crust that has survived the splitting and merging of continents.
    • 1988, L. L. Sloss, Chapter 1: Introduction, L. L. Sloss (editor), Sedimentary Cover—North American Craton: U.S., Geological Society of America, The Geology of North America, Volume D-2, page 2,
      Application of the concept of a craton circumscribed by surrounding miogeosynclines was particularly vexing to stratigraphers whose study areas extended across the line theoretically delineating distinct tectonic terranes.
    • 2008, Nasser Ennih, Jean-Paul Liégeois, The boundaries of the West African craton, with reference to the basement of the Moroccan metacratonic Anti-Atlas belt, N. Ennih, J.-P. Liégeois (editors), The Boundaries of the West African Craton, Geological Society, Special Publication Number 297, page 1,
      Although cratons are not tectonically active, they can be located near active margins, such as the Brazilian craton at the rear of the Andean active margin.
    • 2009, Ram Sharma, Cratons and Fold Belts of India, Springer, Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, LNES 127, page 58,
      The Bastar craton (BC) is also called Bastar-Bhandara craton. It lies to ENE of the Dharwar craton (DC), separated from the latter by the Godavari rift (see Fig. 2.1).

Derived termsEdit