Abstract: A direct comparison of simulation and experimental results of UV laser-induced surface nanostructuring of gold is presented. Theoretical simulations and experiments are performed on an identical spatial scale. The experimental results have been obtained by using a laser wavelength of 248 nm and a pulse length of 1.6 ps. A mask projection setup is applied to generate a spatially periodic intensity profile on a gold surface with a sinusoidal shape and periods of 270 nm, 350 nm, and 500 nm. The formation of structures at the surface upon single pulse irradiation is analyzed by scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). For the simulations, a hybrid atomistic-continuum model capable of capturing the essential mechanisms responsible for the nanostructuring process is used to model the interaction of the laser pulse with the gold target and the subsequent time evolution of the system. The formation of narrow ridges composed of two colliding side walls is found in the simulation as well as in the experiment and the structures generated as a result of the material processing are categorized depending on the range of applied fluencies and periodicities.