These lenses are the product of Wadis, seasonal river channels found in dry areas which only fill during periods of heavy rain. In some areas, they can form underground rivers, which then terminate in the seabed just offshore. After heavy rain, the water will flow out of the Wadi, and as the freshwater is less dense than the salty ocean water it will float to the top. By looking at the surface temperature and turbidity, we can gauge the approximate locations of these Lenses – the freshwater is colder than the seawater, and the upwelling of the water in shallower areas can be seen in infrared frequencies. The outward rippling of the lenses can also be detected with satellites if the water is calm enough not to disturb it. Combining both of these features with weather data to find calm days on which would be best to observe the lenses, and visual data to confirm this, we hope to be able to detect the presence of the lenses within the Iranian EEZ
Under contract for MarineTech, ARGANS uses remote sensing data from several sources (Sentinel 1, Sentinel 2, Landsat, and ASTER) to determine the location of freshwater lenses present in the Iranian EEZ within the Persian Gulf.