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A semiempirical polarimetric backscattering model for bare soil surfaces is inverted directly to retrieve both the volumetric soil moisture content Mv and the rms surface height s from multipolarized radar observations. The rms surface height s and the moisture content Mv can be read from inversion diagrams using the measurements of the cross-polarized backscattering coefficient σvh0 and the copolarized ratio p(=σhh0/σvv0). Otherwise, the surface parameters can be estimated simply by solving two equations (σvh0 and p) in two unknowns (Mv and s). The inversion technique has been applied to the polarimetric backscattering coefficients measured by ground-based polarimetric scatterometers and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory airborne synthetic aperture radar. A good agreement was observed between the values of surface parameters (the rms height s, roughness parameter ks, and the volumetric soil moisture content Mv) estimated by the inversion technique and those measured in situ.