Pin surfaces were analysed by laser profilometry. Two roughness parameters, R(a) and the fractal dimension, were investigated as a first step towards methods of quantitative wear mechanism mapping. Both parameters were analysed for their relationship to the severity and prevalence of a mechanism. Three-dimensional maps of R(a), fractal dimension, average slope and average inter-deviation spacing were produced, It was found that whilst mechanistic information for multiple mechanisms was contained within R(a) and fractal dimension, without further quantitative knowledge of the surface, the influence of different mechanisms could not be separated. However, for a single mechanism, data on mechanism severity information could be obtained. This was shown to be the case experimentally for a microploughing mechanism, for both the microroughness R(a) and the fractal dimension.