It is well known that in a Gaussian sea state for an infinitely narrow spectrum the crest height and the trough depth follow the same Rayleigh distribution, because of linearity of the first order Stokes expansion solution. For spectra of finite bandwidth, Boccotti obtained, as a corollary of his first formulation of the theory of quasideterminism (which is exact to the first order in a Stokes expansion), that the crest height and the trough depth still follow asymptotically the Rayleigh law for high waves in Gaussian sea states. In this paper we extend the theory of quasideterminism of Boccotti to the second-order, deriving new wave crest and wave trough distributions that take into account nonlinear effects and are valid for finite bandwidth of the spectrum in deep water. Nonlinear Monte Carlo simulations validate our theoretical predictions and comparisons with experimental data and the recent model of Forristall are finally presented.
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