The Panama Canal expansion project

We recently had a look at water transfer canals in Brazil. Today we are looking at the Panama Canal and in a future post we will have a look at the Suez Canal, both of which have recently been expanded.

The Panama Canal rises 26 metres above sea level and has locks at each end to raise the ships. The original locks were 33.5 metres wide, which limits the size of ship that can pass through the canal. This is such an important restriction that ships are often built specifically to meet that restriction – a size known as Panamax. The expansion project was aimed at allowing for larger ships to pass through the canal, as well as faster transit times and more efficient use of water.

The new locks have large reutilization basins which allow 60% of the water used in each transit to be reused.

Pacific Ocean Locks. 1: Miraflores Locks (original). 2. Pedro Miguel Locks (original) 3. Cocoli Locks (new).

Construction of the Pacific Locks.

Atlantic Ocean Locks. 1: Gatun Locks (original). 2. Agua Clara Locks (new).

Construction of the Atlantic Locks.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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