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    GEOTHERMAL ENERGY POTENTIAL IN THE EASTERN SYR DARYA SEDIMENTARY BASIN, SOUTH KAZAKHSTAN

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    Since Kazakhstan is one of the world’s top polluters in terms of CO2 per capita emissions, the Strategy of Sustainable Energy of Future Kazakhstan until 2050 recommends a substantial reliance on renewable energy sources. Geothermal energy can be used in Kazakhstan's decarbonization agenda in addition to solar and wind energies. This research provides an initial evaluation of the geothermal energy potential in the Eastern Syr Darya sedimentary basin. The regional temperature distribution maps were produced with the input of depth-temperature profiles that represent the geothermal gradients of each observed area. Integration of temperature distribution maps with heat content and available water salinity indicated that the Arys and Shaulder areas, where salt layers are absent, are promising regions for geothermal energy extraction. Elevated geothermal gradients are potentially explained by the recent tectonic activities, particularly, strike-slip faulting and compressional tectonic regimes. An examination of the water chemistry determined the surface water and lateral groundwater flow recharge zones of the Eastern Syr Darya aquifers. Implementing experience in other countries, geothermal energy in the Eastern Syr Darya can be successfully extracted for electricity generation and heat supply
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