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The phenomenon of speckle in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images is well known as a characteristic grainy appearance of radar images. Speckle is frequently a significant obstacle to visual interpretations of radar data or target identification. In addition, it is usually the dominant noise source in SAR interferometry, since it is responsible for image decorrelation that degrades interferometric fringes, places severe constraints on orbits, and limits the accuracy of height measurements. This communication deals with the geometric sources of speckle. This conventional picture is extended to the case of vertically separated scatterers, and the formulation that results is applied to the structurally similar topics of azimuth focusing, interferometric decorrelation from defocusing, and atmospheric phase delays.