Raising Gatun Lake (part of "A Greater Wonder")


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by Miguel Lorenzo, Engineer, Executive Manager; Panama Canal Authority Engineering Division,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2017, Vol. 87, Issue 6, Pg. 56-57


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Raising the maximum operating level of Gatun Lake was one of the four main undertakings of the Panama Canal expansion project. Its goal was to increase the storage capacity for water used for human consumption and other necessities as well as for the operations of the expanded Panama Canal. This effort makes it possible to raise the maximum operating level of Gatun Lake by roughly 45 cm, from the current elevation of 26.67 m with respect to the precise level datum (PLD) to 27.13 m PLD. (Panama Canal elevations are measured in relation to a particular point, the PLD, which corresponds to 0.3 m below the average sea level at the Pacific entrance and 0.06 m below the average sea level at the Atlantic entrance.)

Subject Headings: Civil engineering landmarks | Lakes | Water storage | Sea level | Human factors | Ocean currents | Geodetic datum | Panama | Central America

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