Composition of the Continental Crust
This chapter reviews the present-day composition of the continental crust, the methods employed to derive these estimates, and the implications of the continental crust composition for the formation of the continents, Earth differentiation, and its geochemical inventories. We review the composition of the upper, middle, and lower continental crust. We then examine the bulk crust composition and the implications of this composition for crust generation and modification processes. Finally, we compare the Earth's crust with those of the other terrestrial planets in our solar system and speculate about what unique processes on Earth have given rise to this unusual crustal distribution.