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For academic writing, which of these three comparative styles is preferred, or more correct?

  1. The mantle velocity of the China Craton is around 8 Km/s, similar to the typical cratons.
  2. The mantle velocity of the China Craton is around 8 Km/s, similar to those of the typical cratons.
  3. The mantle velocity of the China Craton is around 8 Km/s, similar to the ones obtained for the typical cratons.

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The basic structure you are trying to use has three elements: velocity, Km/s, and cratons. You can only use the structure you propose if you compare things of the same kind: i.e., velocity X with velocity Y, X Km/s with Y Km/s, and X craton with Y craton.

Your main comparison is actually velocity X with velocity Y and the rest is just descriptive material to differentiate X from Y. I would propose one of the following possibilities:

  1. The mantle velocity of the China Craton is around 8 Km/s, similar to that of typical cratons.

  2. The mantle velocity of the China Craton is around 8 Km/s, similar to the case of typical cratons.

  3. The mantle velocity of the China Craton is around 8 Km/s, similar to the velocity of typical cratons.

In technical writing, I prefer the first option for conciseness, but I think the 3rd is actually clearest and best. By the way, "that" must be singular to agree with "velocity," which is also singular.

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