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Panama Canal Wonders of the Industrial World


Wonders of the World ::--Ancient 7 Wonder||Medieval 7 Wonder||Modern 7 Wonder||Natural 7 Wonder||Wonder of Underwater||Wonder of Industrial||Wonder didn't know Existed||Human with Diffrent||20 Strange Place's||


Seven Wonders of the Industrial World ::--1.SS Great Eastern|| 2.Bell Rock Lighthouse|| 3.Brooklyn Bridge|| 4.London sewerage system|| 5.First Transcontinental Railroad|| 6.Panama Canal|| 7.Hoover Dam||


Panama Canal

The Panama Canal (Spanish: Canal de Panama) is a 82-kilometre (51 mi) ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons in 2008. In total, over 815,000 vessels have passed through the canal. It has been named one of the seven modern wonders of the world by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via either the Strait of Magellan or Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (5,900 mi), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 mi) route around Cape Horn.



The concept of a canal in Panama dates to the early 16th century. The first attempt to construct a canal began in 1880 under French leadership, but was abandoned after 21,900 workers died, largely from disease (particularly malaria and yellow fever) and landslides. The United States launched a second effort, incurring a further 5,600 deaths but succeeding in opening the canal in 1914. The U.S. controlled the canal and the Canal Zone surrounding it until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties provided for the transition of control to Panama. From 1979 to 1999 the canal was under joint U.S.–Panamanian administration, and from 31 December 1999 command of the waterway was assumed by the Panama Canal Authority, an agency of the Panamanian government.
While the Pacific Ocean is west of the isthmus and the Atlantic to the east, the 8- to 10-hour journey through the canal from the Pacific to the Atlantic is one from southeast to northwest. This is a result of the isthmus's "curving back on itself" in the region of the canal. The Bridge of the Americas (Spanish: Puente de las Americas) at the Pacific end is about a third of a degree of longitude east of the end near Colon on the Atlantic.
The maximum size of vessel that can use the canal is known as Panamax. A Panamax cargo ship typically has a DWT of 65,000–80,000 tonnes, but its actual cargo is restricted to about 52,500 tonnes because of draft restrictions in the canal. The longest ship ever to transit was the San Juan Prospector, now Marcona Prospector, an ore-bulk-oil carrier that is 973 ft (296.57 m) long, with a beam of 106 ft (32.31 m).



Layout

The canal consists of artificial lakes, several improved and artificial channels, and three sets oflocks. An additional artificial lake, Alajuela Lake (known during the American era as Madden Lake), acts as a reservoir for the canal. The layout of the canal as seen by a ship passing from the Pacific end to the Atlantic is as follows:

  • From the buoyed entrance channel in the Gulf of Panama (Pacific side), ships travel 13.2 km (8.2 mi) up the channel to the Miraflores locks, passing under the Bridge of the Americas.
  • The two-stage Miraflores lock system, including the approach wall, is 1.7 km (1.1 mi) long, with a total lift of 16.5 meters (54 ft) at mid-tide.
  • The artificial Miraflores Lake is the next stage, 1.7 km (1.1 mi) long, and 16.5 meters (54 ft) above sea level.
  • The single-stage Pedro Miguel lock, which is 1.4 km (0.87 mi) long, is the last part of the ascent with a lift of 9.5 meters (31 ft) up to the main level of the canal.
  • The Gaillard (Culebra) Cut slices 12.6 km (7.8 mi) through the continental divide at an altitude of 26 meters (85 ft), and passes under the Centennial Bridge.
  • The Chagres River (Río Chagres), a natural waterway enhanced by the damming of Lake Gatún, runs west about 8.5 km (5.3 mi), merging into Lake Gatun.
  • Gatun Lake, an artificial lake formed by the building of the Gatun Dam, carries vessels 24.2 km (15.0 mi) across the isthmus.
  • The Gatún locks, a three-stage flight of locks 1.9 km (1.2 mi) long, drop ships back down to sea level.
  • A 3.2 km (2.0 mi) channel forms the approach to the locks from the Atlantic side.
  • Limon Bay (Bahía Limon), a huge natural harbour, provides an anchorage for some ships awaiting passage, and runs 8.7 km (5.4 mi) to the outer breakwater.

Thus, the total length of the canal is 77.1 km (47.9 mi).


panamaa canal

Capacity

The canal is presently handling more vessel traffic than had ever been envisioned by its builders. In 1934 it was estimated that the maximum capacity of the canal would be around 80 million tons per year; as noted above, canal traffic in 2009 consisted of 299.1 million tons of shipping.

To improve capacity, a number of improvements have been imposed on the current canal system. These improvements aim to maximise the possible use of current locking system:

  • Implementation of an enhanced locks lighting system;
  • Construction of two tie-up stations in Gaillard Cut;
  • Gaillard Cut widening from 192 to 218 metres (630 to 715 ft);
  • Improvements to the tugboat fleet;
  • Implementation of the carousel lockage system in Gatun locks;
  • Development of an improved vessel scheduling system;
  • Deepening of Gatun Lake navigational channels from 10.4 to 11.3 metres (34 to 37 ft) PLD
  • Modification of all locks structures to allow an additional draft of about 0.30 metres (0.98 ft);
  • Deepening of the Pacific and Atlantic entrances;
  • Construction of a new spillway in Gatun, for flood control.

These improvements will enlarge the capacity from 280–290 million PCUMS (2008) to 330–340 PCUMS (2012).

panama canal

 

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