Synoptic information on surface characteristics of estuarine intertidal flats, such as surface roughness and sediment texture, is required to support coastal management. This study aims to derive such information from space-borne Synthetic Aperture Radar. Estimates of the backscatter coefficient σ0 were extracted from ESA ERS-2 SAR PRI imagery (acquired during low tide), of an intertidal flat in the Westerschelde, southwest Netherlands. The data were related to matching field measurements of surface roughness (RMSz) and mud content. A significant positive relationship was found between surface roughness and the backscatter coefficient. Surface roughness was also significantly correlated with mud content, with surface ripples being more pronounced in sand than in mud. This resulted in a significant negative correlation between mud content and the backscatter coefficient. The relationships found are used to map the surface characteristics from ERS-2 SAR imagery.