The formation of ion induced nanoscale patterns such as ripple, dots or pores can be described by a linear continuum equation consisting of a surface roughening term due to curvature-dependent sputtering or asymmetric attachment of vacancies, and a surface smoothing term due to thermal or ion-induced diffusion. By studying ion-induced dimple volume change using atomic force microscopy, we show a method to measure the ion-roughening coefficient. Using this method, we found the roughening coefficient v was 45 nm 2/sec at 730K for initial ion etchings with 300 eV Argon ions. Cathodoluminescence measurements indicated Ga-vacancy formation during ion bombardment. The activation energy for surface relaxation after ion etching was about 0.12 eV as measured by reflection high energy electron diffraction.