The dynamic pressure distribution on the bottom of a wave flume, due to the interaction of water waves with a submerged structure, is investigated experimentally and analytically, for both first- and second-order gravity waves of finite amplitude. The dynamic pressure excess is found to be very important, even for incoming waves propagating in deep water conditions. In this depth condition, a high pressure zone, thirty times larger than the dynamic pressure excess expected in the absence of the obstacle, is found in its vicinity. On the other hand, a low pressure zone is observed in the vicinity of the submerged obstacle for incoming waves propagating in smaller depth conditions. In any case, pressure gradients remain important. The second-order disturbance is found to be larger than first order in deep water conditions, for some specific conditions and locations. This result is interpreted in terms of nonlinear coupling of first-order components, including local modes.