Thursday, January 21, 2016

FTV Entering the Panama Canal

The Kennedy is waiting in line for its turn to pass through the Panama Canal. You may be able to see it live by checking into the Panama Canal WebCam. at about 1630 to 1730 today.

It may take some time so while you are waiting this great video introduces you to Mega Structures-Panama Canal. The Panama Canal is considered one of the worlds most amazing engineering feats.

The Panama Canal is essential to the United States. About 12,000 ships a year pass through the canal, 70 percent of them going to or from U.S. ports. .A ship bound from New York to San Francisco, for example, enters the canal from the Caribbean Sea. The ship remains at sea level for the first few miles. Then it comes to a step like series of three chambers called locks—the Gatun Locks. Each fills with water after the vessel enters, raising it about 28 feet. The three locks lift the ship to the level of Gatun Lake, formed by Gatun Dam. (It takes 26 million gallons of water from Gatun Lake to fill each lock. The lake does not run dry, however, because the region receives substantial rainfall and because Gatun Lake has backup water stored in Madden Lake.) The ship crosses Gatun Lake and goes through the Gaillard Cut, a narrow passage cut through hills. Then the ship is taken into the Pedro Miguel Locks and is lowered about 31 feet to Miraflores Lake. At the other side of the lake, the ship enters the two Miraflores Locks. As the water is released for each, the ship is lowered an additional 27 feet. At sea level again, the ship passes to the Bay of Panama just a few miles away. The eight-hour passage through the Panama Canal has saves nearly 8,000 miles of travel. Learn more.

Watch 7-fascinating-facts-about-the-panama-canal and then read on for the complete history

To transit the Panama Canal, a ship entering from the Atlantic side at Colon would first navigate through roughly seven miles of dredged canal at sea level through marshy lowlands. At Gatun, the vessel would approach the enormous, sloping earthen dam that holds back the water in Gatun Lake. The vessel would then ascend a three-step lock and enter the man-made lake. From there, the next 32 miles of the journey to the Pacific Ocean would be upon the placid waters of Lake Gatun. After passing through the Culebra Cut, the lake would terminate at Pedro Miguel, where the ship would descend down a one-step lock into a small intermediary lake before descending the final two steps back to sea level at Miraflores. From there, the vessel would again navigate through another seven miles of dredged lowlands before entering the Pacific Ocean near Panama City.

These photos show the T.S. Kennedy passing through the canal on its previous voyage.
These small engines called tugs pull the ships through the canal
The gates open to allow the ship into the lock

Once inside the lock the gates close

The lock is  flooded to raise the ship to the next level of the canal lock
Lesson: Locks and Dams

No comments:

Post a Comment