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In terms of absolute time, the Carboniferous Period began approximately 358.9 million years ago and ended 298.9 million years ago.Its duration of approximately 60 million years makes it the longest period of the Paleozoic Era and the second longest period of the Phanerozoic Eon.The present-day coastlines and tectonic boundaries of the configured continents are shown in the inset.Hercynian orogeny (mountain-building event), which continued into the Permian Period.The continental interiors were terrestrial, and no major marine embayments apparently existed.Upland areas of the continental interiors underwent substantial erosion during the Carboniferous.
This record spans the 4.6 billion year record of Earth's history.
These glaciations were similar to those occurring in the Northern Hemisphere during the Pleistocene Epoch.
Coeval (parallel) continental glaciations did not occur in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, probably because the landmasses were too small to sustain large ice fields.
This includes about 90% of all geologic time and spans the time from the beginning of the earth, about 4.5 billion years ago, to 544 million years ago.
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