A new study by the U.S. government shows that satellites can detect the leading edge of a tsunami, Reuters reported.

The new information could give emergency response teams an additional resource when it comes to predicting where a tsunami might hit.

"We've found that roughness of the surface water provides a good measure of the true strength of the tsunami along its entire leading edge," Oleg Godin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement.

Researchers looked at satellite images from December of 2004 when one destroyed areas along the coast in Sri Lanka, Thailand and elsewhere, and found they could see a clear pattern in the water, Reuters reported.

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