Ross, Charles A. Department of Geology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.
Ross, June R. P. Department of Biology, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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- Paleogeography and lithology
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The interval of geological time, and rocks deposited during that time, from the end of the Devonian Period to the beginning of the Permian Period. The Carboniferous Period spanned from about 359 to 299 million years ago during the Paleozoic Era (Fig. 1). The rocks that formed during this time interval are known as the Carboniferous System; they include a wide variety of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rocks in the lower portion of the Carboniferous are typically carbonates, such as limestones and dolostones, and locally some evaporites. The upper portions of the system are usually composed of cyclically repeated successions of sandstones, coals, shales, and thin limestones. See also: Sedimentary rocks
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