The dense spray region in the near-field of diesel fuel injection remains an enigma. This region is difficult to interrogate with light in the visible range and difficult to model due to the rapid interaction between liquid and gas. In particular, modeling strategies that rely on Lagrangian particle tracking of droplets have struggled in this area. To better represent the strong interaction between phases, Eulerian modeling has proven particularly useful. Models built on the concept of surface area density are advantageous where primary and secondary atomization have not yet produced droplets, but rather form more complicated liquid structures. Surface area density, a more general concept than Lagrangian droplets, naturally represents liquid structures, no matter how complex. These surface area density models, however, have not been directly experimentally validated in the past due to the inability of optical methods to elucidate such a quantity. Optical diagnostics traditionally measure near-spherical droplet size far downstream, where the spray is optically thin. Using ultra-small-angle x-ray scattering (USAXS) measurements to measure the surface area and x-ray radiography to measure the density, we have been able to test one of the more speculative parts of Eulerian spray modeling. The modeling and experimental results have been combined to provide insight into near-field spray dynamics.