Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Panama Canal: Gatun Lake

Gatun Lake
Panama Canal
Gatun Dam
N 09° 15.740 W 079° 55.781 (beginning)
N 09° 6.388 W 079° 41.444 (end)

Short Description:

Gatun Lake is an artificial lake that begins at the Gatun Dam and end at the north end of the Culebra Cut.

Long Description:

Gatun Lake is a 21 mile long artificial lake to the south of the Gatun Locks in the Panama Canal.
The lake was started in 1907 with the building of the Gatun Dam across the Chagres River about 6 miles from its outlet to the Caribbean Sea. The lake completely filled in 1913. When created it was the largest man-made lake in the world and Gatun Dam was the largest of its kind.

The lake filled the valley of the Chagres River. Subsequently, the valley was widened and deepened to accommodate shipping. It was formed, and the river widened and deepened, by the construction of the Gatun Dam. The surrounding formed a natural basin around the lake perimeter,


Gatun Lake is 85 feet above sea level and has an area of 164 sq. mi. The entire canal system is operated by gravity fed water from Gatun Lake which holds 183,000,000,000 cubic feet of fresh water, equaling the annual flow of the Chagres River.

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