1. n. [Geology]
A stable area of continental crust that has not undergone much plate tectonic or orogenic activity for a long period. A craton includes a crystalline basement of commonly Precambrian rock called a shield, and a platform in which flat-lying or nearly flat-lying sediments or sedimentary rock surround the shield. A commonly cited example of a craton is the Canadian Shield.
See: basement, orogeny, plate tectonics, platform, sedimentary