Abstract: Recent mud sediments of Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay and contributory rivers contain a clay mineral assemblage composed essentially of kaolinite and montmorillonite. Illite is present as a minor component.
The montmorillonite in these sediments appears to be at least partially complexed with organic material. This association is particularly evident in river and river mouth deposits and seems to be modified or partially destroyed in sea water. Organic material has been leached from river sediments with a sodium hydroxide solution and combined as a clay-organic complex with montmorillonite from Clay Spur, Wyoming.
The clay mineralogy of sediments from Mobile Bay and areas outside of the barrier island chain is very similar to that of the river sediments. Within Mississippi Sound an apparent increase in the montmorillonite-illite content of the sediments relative to kaolinite from east to west is attributed to the invasion of mud from the Mississippi Delta into the western part of the Sound.
Chemical analyses of these sediments along a section from fresh water to Mississippi Sound localities have shown a progressive increase in magnesium, potassium, and sodium, and a decrease in calcium.