A multidisciplinary research program is studying the structure, composition, and tectonic evolution of the mantle and crust of one of the best preserved early Archean eratons: the Kaapvaal craton in southern Africa. Cratons, which have survived over 2.5 Ga of tectonic activity on the Earth's surface, are more than just old crustal features. They form the stable nuclei of the present-day continents, comprising regions of thickened lithosphere extending deeper than 200 km.
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