With the increasing use of ultra high resolution probes in the investigation of radar sea scatter, it is of interest to consider a time domain formulation of sea scatter that emphasizes the instantaneous response of the surface to impulselike waveforms. In this paper a simple scalar analogue of radar sea scatter in the time domain is presented. An impulse (δ function) is shown to return a signal that is highly sensitive to both the curvature and slope of the scattering surface. Using a simulated gravity wave as a reference scatterer, the response to realizable waveforms based on the Gabor wavelet is examined. It is found that a symmetric wavelet scatters much like the impulse, while the return for an antisymmetric wavelet is considerably weaker. Some implications of causality in ultra high resolution scattering are discussed, along with the similarities and differences between the time and frequency domain formulations of the surface scattering problem.