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The Mississippian

The Mississippian is the first geological epoch in the Carboniferous. It began about 359 million years ago (mya), and ended 323 mya.

The names Mississippian and Pennsylvanian are used in North America, because they suit the strata there. Geologists from elsewhere mostly use simply 'Carboniferous', or they use the official terms for stages, as defined by the International Commission for Stratigraphy.

During the Mississippian the sea level was high, and much of North America was invaded by a shallow sea. The strata consist mostly of a sequence of marine limestones.