Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imaging of ocean waves involves both the geometry and the kinematics of the sea surface. However, the traditional linear wave theory fails to describe steep waves, which are likely to bring about specular reflection of the radar beam, and it may overestimate the surface fluid velocity that causes the so-called velocity bunching effect. Recently, the interest for a Lagrangian description of ocean gravity waves has increased. Such an approach considers the motion of individual labeled fluid particles and the free surface elevation is derived from the surface particles positions. The first order regular solution to the Lagrangian equations of motion for an inviscid and incompressible fluid is the so-called Gerstner wave. It shows realistic features such as sharper crests and broader troughs as the wave steepness increases. This paper proposes a second order irregular solution to these equations. The general features of the first and second order waves are described, and some statistical properties of various surface parameters such as the orbital velocity, slope, and mean curvature are studied.

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