The ocean used to cover south Georgia and the shoreline ran roughly from Alabama to Columbus, GA to Macon, GA to Augusta, GA and extending into South Carolina. Silicate minerals such as feldspar washed from the  Appalachian mountains. These minerals mixed with ocean deposits, microscopic sea shells and more minerals to produce layers of Kaolin.

Kaolin is better known as white china clay. The clay is used to create porcelain as well as a drug that treats diarrhea. Kaolin is used to mix with paper fibers to produce glossy paper used for magazines. Kaolin is an ingredient in paint and rubber.

Georgia is a major producer of kaolin. When I was a kid, we would go to what we called the chalk mine to get chalk to draw on the asphalt road. The chalk mine was where kaolin was naturally found on the surface. Below is a picture of a kaolin deposit.

White kaolin and iron stained kaolin

To the right is red clay which is the predominate surface soil. At one time, this soil was covered with black topsoil and that topsoil was eroded and washed away before the 1800's. The land was exhausted and eroded by tobacco and cotton crops.


  1. Isn't it funny that something used in porcelain is also used for diarrhea.
    ~Visiting from AtoZ

  2. I'm learning so much today. I didn't know a special clay was used in porcelain but it makes sense.


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