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A procedure is described for the quantitative estimation of hematite, goethite and lepidocrocite in soil clays by differential X-ray diffraction combined with profile refinement. The method has been applied to clays from 12 palaeosol horizons from south-east England. Samples containing as little as 1% dithionite-extractable iron can be analysed in this way. The hematite: goethite ratio is determined to within ±3% for soil clays having ∼2.5% of each oxide and to within 10% in less favourabledoi:10.1180/claymin.1985.020.1.02 fatcat:dz25tby4bncqjc3u4nhke2tuqm