Despite conceptual origins from studies of the Paleozoic strata of cratonic basins, sequence stratigraphy has largely been developed and applied to post-Paleozoic successions in extracratonic settings. The application of continental-margin sequence stratigraphic concepts to cratonic basinal successions is fraught with problems owing to slower rates of sediment accumulation, and consequently, a more coarsely defined temporal resolution. In addition, some important sequence stratigraphic components are rare or completely missing from cratonic areas. Common usage of genetic sequence stratigraphic terminology can coopt critical evaluation of depositional characters, and must be practiced with extreme caution in order to avoid 'model-driven' approaches to stratigraphic synthesis. The best available tests for evaluating current questions regarding the central role of eustasy in sequence stratigraphy may be through interregional and intercontinental comparisons of cratonic stratigraphic sequences.