The physical and chemical properties of soils and sediments are laregly dependent upon the specific surface of the mineral fraction. Measurement of surface area using low temperature adsorption isotherms, usually nitrogen, by the Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (B.E.T.) method has been reported for soils and clays (Emmett et al., 1938; Nelson and Hendricks, 1943) and is reviewed by Mortland and Kemper (1965). The interlayer surface of montmorillonite and vermiculite is not measured at the low temperature and pressure employed, and the method gives the external surface values only.

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