The Mississippian (/ˌmɪs.ɪˈsɪp.i.ən/ miss-ih-SIP-ee-ə-n, also known as Lower Carboniferous or Early Carboniferous) is a subperiod in the geologic timescale or a subsystem of the geologic record. It is the earliest/lowermost of two subperiods of the Carboniferous period lasting from roughly 358.9 to 323.2 million years ago. As with most other geochronologic units, the rock beds that define the Mississippian are well identified, but the exact start and end dates are uncertain by a few million years. The Mississippian is so named because rocks with this age are exposed in the Mississippi River valley.
The Mississippian was a period of marine transgression in the Northern Hemisphere: the sea level was so high that only the Fennoscandian Shield and the Laurentian Shield were dry land. The cratons were surrounded by extensive delta systems and lagoons, and carbonate sedimentation on the surrounding continental platforms, covered by shallow seas.
In North America, where the interval consists primarily of marine limestones, it is treated as a geologic period between the Devonian and the Pennsylvanian. During the Mississippian an important phase of orogeny occurred in the Appalachian Mountains. It is a major rock-building period named for the exposures in the Mississippi Valley region. The USGS geologic time scale shows its relation to other periods.
In Europe, the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian are one more-or-less continuous sequence of lowland continental deposits and are grouped together as the Carboniferous system, and sometimes called the Upper Carboniferous and Lower Carboniferous instead.
|Subdivision of the Carboniferous system|
according to the ICS, as of 2017.
In the official geologic timescale, the Mississippian is subdivided into three stages:
The lower two come from European stratigraphy, the top from Russian stratigraphy. Besides Europe and Russia, there are many local subdivisions that are used as alternatives for the international timescale. In the North American system, the Mississippian is subdivided into four stages:
The Antler orogeny was a tectonic event that began in the early Late Devonian with widespread effects continuing into the Mississippian and early Pennsylvanian. Most of the evidence for this event is in Nevada but the limits of its reach are unknown. A great volume of conglomeratic deposits of mainly Mississippian age in Nevada and adjacent areas testifies to the existence of an important tectonic event, and implies nearby areas of uplift and erosion, but the nature and cause of that event are uncertain and in dispute. Although it is known as an orogeny (mountain building event), some of the classic features of orogeny as commonly defined such as metamorphism, and granitic intrusives have not been linked to it. In spite of this, the event is universally designated as an orogeny and that practice is continued here. This article outlines what is known and unknown about the Antler orogeny and describes three current theories regarding its nature and origin.Mississippian
Mississippian may refer to:
Mississippian (geology), a subperiod of the Carboniferous period in the geologic timescale, roughly 360 to 325 million years ago
Mississippian culture, a culture of Native American mound-builders from 900 to 1500 AD
Mississippian Railway, a short line railroad
A native of Mississippi
(541.0 Mya–2.5 Gya)
|Archean eon (2.5–4 Gya)|
|Hadean eon (4–4.6 Gya)|