Soil surface roughness, as investigated in this study, is decomposed in a dual scale process. Therefore, we investigated photogrammetrically acquired roughness information over different agricultural fields in the size of 6-22 m(2) and decomposed them into a dual scale process by using geostatistical techniques. For the characterization of soil surface roughness, we calculated two different roughness indices (the RMS height s and the autocorrelation length l) differing significantly for each scale. While we could relate the small scale roughness pattern clearly to the seedbed rows, the larger second scale pattern could be related to the appearance of wheel tracks of the tillage machine used. As a result, major progress was made in the understanding of the different scales in soil surface roughness characterization and its quantification possibilities.