Aksu River (Kazakhstan)

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Aksu River
Balkhash labeled in Russian
Satellite image of Aksu River delta as it enters Lake Balkhash with the Lepsy River just to the east
Map of the Lake Balkhash drainage basin
Origin Dzungarian Alatau Mountains
Mouth Lake Balkhash
Basin countries Kazakhstan

The Aksu River (Russian: Аксу, Kazakh: Ақсу) is a river in Kazakhstan that originates in the Dzungarian Alatau Mountains near the border of with China and flows into Lake Balkhash.[1] In Turkic languages, the name 'ak+su' literally means "clean/white water".

The river flows north from the border with China before turning northwestward passing by Matay and then northward when it reaches the Saryesik-Atyrau Desert, a large sand desert south of Lake Balkhash. The river empties into Lake Balkhash just west of the Lepsy River on its southern side. Aksu freezes up in December and stays icebound until March. Because of irrigation, the river's flow into Lake Balkash is limited.


  1. ^ "1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Balkash - Wikisource, the free online library". En.wikisource.org. 2012-12-23. Retrieved 2014-05-08. The Karatal, the Aksu and the Lepsa also enter from the south-east, and the Ayaguz from the north-east. 

Coordinates: 46°19′24″N 78°12′36″E / 46.32342°N 78.21004°E / 46.32342; 78.21004