Encyclopedia of Soil Science

2008 Edition
| Editors: Ward Chesworth


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-3995-9_51

That part of the continental crust that has been anorogenic (i.e., not involved in mountain building activities, and therefore considered to be stable over the long term) since at least the early Paleozoic. Basement rocks are exposed as shields or cratons on all continents. Granitoid rocks dominate cratonic regions (e.g. Card and Poulsen, 1998) and constitute the parent materials of many of the acid soils worldwide, both on the deeply weathered basements of Africa, Australia and South America (e.g. ferrallitic soils), or on the young, granite-derived glacial deposits of the shield areas of the northern hemisphere (e.g. podzolic soils).


  1. Card, K.D., Poulsen, K.H., 1998. Geology and mineral deposits of the Superior province of the Canadian shield. In Lucas, S., co‐ord., Geology of the Precambrian Superior and Grenville Provinces and Precambrian fossils in North America, Vol. C‐1. Geological Society of America, The Geology of North America, pp. 15–204.Google Scholar

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