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Continental Hearts

Ancient expanses called cratons pose a geological puzzle

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12:13pm, December 3, 2010

When Viennese geologist Leopold Kober gave geology a new word — kratogen, soon shortened to craton — for the flat, stony interiors of continents, he thought such places to be among the duller places for geological study. For him, the more flexible expanses of crust he called orogens, full of rising mountains and earthquake faults, were where the action was.

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