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Continents are the large dry landmasses of the earth. They are areas of continental crust atop subterranean areas of the lithosphere. The continental crust is thicker, but less dense than the oceanic crust, and is floating on the molten mantle. While the continents hold deposits of heavy materials such as iron or gold, they are mostly felsic materials that are lighter rocks composed mostly of silicate minerals, sodium, potassium, and aluminum. Each continent is connected to the oceanic crust or the sea floor that adjoins it. Continental margins are the sides of the continents. They are composed of the continental shelf, the continental shelf break, the continental slope, and the continental rise. The bottoms of the continental margins exist in the ocean basins as zones ...

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