Friday, April 17, 2015

Panama Canal: Pedro Miguel Locks

Pedro Miguel Locks
Panama Canal

N 09° 01.020 W 079° 36.738

Short Description: 

The Pedro Miguel Locks are the middle set of locks on the Panama Canal. They are located south of the Culebra Cut and north of Miraflores Lake on the Pacific Ocean side of the Panama Canal.

Long Description:

The Panama Canal was constructed between 1881 and 1914. There are three sets of locks, two lakes and one long rock cut along the Panama Canal. Each has historic name of the area in which they are built. The Pedro Miguel Locks are the middle set and smallest of the of locks of the Panama Canal. They are south of the Culebra Cut and the continental divide and north of Miraflores Lake.

The Pedro Miguel Locks contain a single set of parallel locks each containing a single chamber. All the present locks on the Panama Canal are operated by gravity. In the case of the Pedro Miguel Locks, fresh water from Gatun Lake and the Chagres River flows into the Culebra Cut. For southbound traffic, this water flows into the Pedro Locks. When the water flows out of the lock into Miraflores Lake, towards the Pacific Ocean, ships are lowered 31 feet. For northbound ships, ships are raised 31 feet when water flows into the lock from the Culebra Cut until the level is equal with the Culebra Cut. Ships can then exit the lock. Thus, the entire system relies upon rainfall for its operation.

The Pedro Miquel locks are 33.5 meters wide and 320 meters long with a usable length of 304.8 meters. The lock chambers made of concrete with side walls that taper from 45' - 55' at the base to 8' at the top. The center dividing wall is 60' thick.

The stamp was issued for the Canal Zone by the United States in 1939 as part of a set of 16 stamps to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. It shows the Pedro Miquel locks looking north towards the Culebra Cut as they appeared in 1939.

No comments:

Post a Comment