creating or containing carbon or coal
- of or regarding the Carboniferous geologic age
- concerning or composed of or producing carbon
- from 345 million to 280 million years back
- manufacturing or containing carbon or coal.
1830 with reference the geological period, from a word created in English in 1799 to suggest "coal-bearing," from Latin carbo (genitive carbonis) "coal" (see carbon) + -ferous "producing, containing, bearing," from ferre "to bear" (see infer). The great coal beds of European countries were set straight down during this time period. As a stand-alone noun (brief for Carboniferous stage) from 1940s.
In the north, Carboniferous beds are present, and the Trias and the Jura take a considerable part in the formation of the chain.