Geophysical, petrological, and geochemical data provide important clues about composition of the deep continental crust. On the basis of seismic refraction data, we divide the crust into type sections associated with different tectonic provinces. Each shows a three-layer crust consisting of upper, middle, and lower crust, in which P wave velocities increase progressively with depth. There is large variation in average P wave velocity of the lower crust between different type sections, but in general, lower crustal velocities are high (>6.9 km s-1) and average middle crustal velocities range between 6.3 and 6.7 km s-1. Heat-producing elements decrease with depth in the crust owing to their depletion in felsic rocks caused by granulite facies metamorphism and an increase in the proportion of mafic rocks with depth.Studies of crustal cross sections show that in Archean regions, 50-85% of the heat flowing from the surface of the Earth is generated within the crust. Granulite terrains that experienced isobaric cooling are representative of middle or lower crust and have higher proportions of mafic rocks than do granulite terrains that experienced isothermal decompression. The latter are probably not representative of the deep crust but are merely upper crustal rocks that have been through an orogenic cycle. Granulite xenoliths provide some of the deepest samples of the continental crust and are composed largely of mafic rock types. Ultrasonic velocity measurements for a wide variety of deep crustal rocks provide a link between crustal velocity and lithology. Meta-igneous felsic, intermediate and mafic granulite, and amphibolite facies rocks are distinguishable on the basis of P and S wave velocities, but metamorphosed shales (metapelites) have velocities that overlap the complete velocity range displayed by the meta-igneous lithologies. The high heat production of metapelites, coupled with their generally limited volumetric extent in granulite terrains and xenoliths, suggests they constitute only a small proportion of the lower crust. Using average P wave velocities derived from the crustal type sections, the estimated areal extent of each type of crust, and the average compositions of different types of granulites, we estimate the average lower and middle crust composition. The lower crust is composed of rocks in the granulite facies and is lithologically heterogeneous. Its average composition is mafic, approaching that of aprimitive mantle-derived basalt, but it may range to intermediate bulk compositions in some regions. The middle crust is composed of rocks in the amphibolite facies and is intermediate in bulk composition, containing significant K, Th, and U contents. Average continental crust is intermediate in composition and contains a significant proportion of the bulk silicate Earth's incompatible trace element budget (35-55% of Rb, Ba, K, Pb, Th, and U). .