One that the major artificial waterways in the world, Panama Canal associate the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, cutting across the Isthmus the Panama- a narrow strip that separates the Caribbean Sea indigenous the Pacific Ocean.

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Completed building and construction in august 1914, the 77 km-long Panama Canal helps ships sailing in between the east and west coasts of the united state to shorten their journey through 15,000 km. Similarly, the canal saves up to 3,700 kilometres for vessels transiting between Europe and also East Asia.

Currently, the Panama Canal plays a far-reaching role in the us economy since it handle a comprehensive share of united state shipping. In the budget year 2017, the canal observed the i of a full of 13,548 vessels, carrying 403.8 million Panama Canal lots of cargo.

Do friend know around these interesting facts about the Panama Canal?

Geographically, the seas that Panama Canal connect with space not in ~ the same level; the Pacific s lies a little greater than the Atlantic Ocean.

This distinction in the sea level needs ships to acquire up over the terrain of Panama- up to 26 meters over sea level- in bespeak to with the other finish of the canal.

With the help of Lock Gates, the vessels entering the canal are lifted come a greater level and also later dropped under to the sea level in ~ the other end of the canal.

The Panama Water Lock system is taken into consideration to be among the greatest engineering services undertaken at the time, purporting to the needs of the pearl to conserve transit time.


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The initial locks of the Panama Canal space 33.53 meters (110 feet) wide, while each lock features a size of 320 meter (1,050 feet). The wall surfaces of each lock have a thickness varieties from 15 meter (at the base) come 3 meters (at the top).

The dimensions of the lock decide the size of a ship, i beg your pardon is also known together Panamax- that can pass through the canal. The third collection of locks opened after the expansion project permits bigger vessels to overcome the canal.

The brand-new Panamax metrics, v the brand-new locks, allows the ships v an in its entirety length the 366 meters, a beam of 49 meters and also a breeze of 15.2 meters. The full lift, the capacity to advanced or reduced a vessel, the the locks are; Gatun locks-85 feet, Pedro Miguel locks-54 feet and Miraflores- between 64.5 feet and 43 feet as result of the too much tides.

The gates of the Panama Canal locks different the champers, and are solid enough to host thousands of litres that water. The water locks space filled or cleared in much less than 10 minutes and also each pair that lock gates takes two minutes come open.

The dimension of the Panama lock gates ranges indigenous 14.33 to 24.99 meters and also measures 2.13 meters in thickness. Each gate features two leaves that measure up 19.81 meter in width and also these leaves room close to a “V” form with the allude upstream, permitting the gates to manage the force of the water.

The gates are only opened once the water level is same on both sides. A fender chain, weighing approximately 30,000 pounds, in ~ the end of every lock avoids ships indigenous ramming the gates prior to they open.

In order to let the vessels happen the lock, every chamber demands to it is in filled through 26,700,000 us gallons the water. The locks room operated making use of the gravity flow of water native lakes such as Gatún, Alajuela, and Miraflores.

The lock system contains 18 feet broad water culverts attached to it, performing the duty of transferring water from these lakes come the chambers come raise the vessels and also from chambers come the next lock or the sea to reduced the vessels.

Operated electrically, the entire procedure of the lock device is managed from a control room located on the centre wall of the upper flight of locks.

The control rooms guide the vessels with the lock chambers using electric towing locomotives. Ships space pulled v the help of this machines, called “mules”, making use of a cable with the locks.

On average, ships call for six of together mules, 3 on each side, when using the locks to enter or exit the canal.

Operation the the Panama Canal Locks

The whole operation the the Panama Water Lock mechanism works can be explained in a couple of steps:

1. The vessel viewpoints towards the lower chamber of the canal locks;

2. The valve of the an initial chamber opens and water operation by pressure of heaviness from the higher chamber to the shortest one, bringing the water level come the sea level;

3. The locked gate opens up to permit the ship into the chamber, and the door closes behind it;

4. The valve of the following chamber is opened up to boost the water level to the of the very first chamber;

5. The gate of the lock is opened and the delivery enters the next chamber;

6. The water level is equalized again and the ship lastly exits the lock and also enters the 77 km long canal.

At the other end of the canal, a similar process will it is in performed in stimulate to reduced the vessel to sea level.

In detail:

For a delivery entering the canal native the Atlantic end, travel in a south-east direction, the very first entry will certainly be into the first (sea level) lock chamber located at the Gatun Locks.

After the vessels gotten in the chamber, the watertight lock doors room closed by the lock-master and the valve is opened up to enable the flow of water from the adjacent second lock chamber, 28 feet above sea level.

Water flows with underground pipes right into the very first chamber until the water levels room equal.

However, no pumps are used here; the entire operation that equalizing the water levels in between the locking chambers on the Panama Canal counts on the ethics of heaviness to relocate the water and also on the truth that water looks for its very own level.

When the water level of two adjacent chambers are equal, the water stops flowing from the water culverts.

Once the water levels in between the very first and 2nd chamber space the same, the valve gets closed through the lock-master and also the watertight lock doors between the very first lock chamber and the 2nd lock chamber are opened subsequently.

This procedure allows the delivery to proceed to the second lock chamber. The first operation is recurring then in between the 2nd lock chamber and the 3rd lock chamber, i beg your pardon raises the ship to the level that Gatun Lake.

After the closure that the last valve and opening that the watertight lock door, the ship is elevated 85 feet over sea level and also is maybe to proceed its journey to the Pacific.

The same procedure inversely is adhered to in order to send the ship ago to sea level. In ~ the Pedro Miguel Locks top top the Pacific end of the canal, as soon as the ship enters the first chamber, the watertight doors are closed and the valve gets opened up on the lock chamber, permitting water to drain from the first lock chamber into the fairly lower second lock chamber.

After the water level in between the two chambers is in ~ the very same level, the watertight doors space opened allowing the delivery to proceed to transmit under the Gaillard reduced to the Miraflores Locks, whereby the procedure of lowering the delivery to sea level is completed.

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