Blanton, J.O., C. Alexander, M. Alber and G. Kineke. 1999. The mobilization and deposition of mud
deposits in a Coastal Plain estuary. Limnologica, 29:293-300.
Muddy sediments with their potential for containing contaminants are
commonly deposited and remobilized by tidal currents in estuarine
environments. We examined the mobilization and subsequent redeposition of
mud in a coastal plain estuary located in the southeastern United States.
Time-series data for salinity, suspended sediment concentrations and quality
(percent organic matter and pigment concentrations) were obtained over a
13-hour tidal cycle. We found that fast-settling mud particles are found
during the highest tidal current speeds. Particle quality analyses suggest
that all the material is of similar origin, and that phaeopigment can be
used as a tracer of particles in this system. These particles settle onto
the bed when current speeds approach slack conditions. We speculate that
the quantity of mud mobilized during neap tide is less than during spring
tide resulting in an opportunity for the mud to partially consolidate on the
bottom and be removed from resuspension. We further speculate that the
muddy sediments are mainly derived from fringing marshes in this estuary.