Abstract. The non-Lambertian behaviour of soil surfaces depends on its roughness at micro-scale and larger scales, as well as on the incident angle of the direct solar beam on the surface. A geometrical model, taking into account the diffuse as well as the specular component of energy leaving soil surfaces in the visible and near-infrared, is used in the paper to describe the influence of soil surface roughness, caused by soil aggregates or soil clods, on the soil bidirectional reflectance distribution. A rough soil surface in the model is simulated by equalsized opaque spheroids lying on a horizontal surface. The model was tested in outdoor conditions on artificially formed soil surfaces made of two spectrally different soil materials: a mineral loam, and a loam with high organic matter content. The spectral data were measured by a field radiometer in the three SPOT (HRV) bands. The model predicts that at specific illumination conditions, soils surfaces with the highest roughness, expressed by the minimum distances between soil aggregates, can show lower variation of reflectance in the view zenith angle function than soil surfaces of a lower roughness.