|crust (krŭst) Pronunciation Key
The solid, outermost layer of the Earth, lying above the mantle. ◇ The crust that includes continents is called continental crust and is about 35.4 to 70 km (22 to 43.4 mi) thick. It consists mostly of rocks, such as granites and granodiorites, that are rich in silica and aluminum, with minor amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. ◇ The crust that includes ocean floors is called oceanic crust and is about 4.8 to 9.7 km (3 to 6 mi) thick. It has a similar composition to that of continental crust, but has higher concentrations of iron, magnesium, and calcium and is denser than continental crust. The predominant type of rock in oceanic crust is basalt.