Miraflores Locks (Pacific Locks) New Three-Step Lock
The Panama Canal is a lock-type canal that unites the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans at one of the narrowest points of both the Isthmus of Panama and the American Continent. The Canal officially opened its doors to international trade on August 15, 1914.
The Canal’s three sets of locks (Miraflores, Pedro Miguel and Gatun), each of which has two lanes, operate as water lifts to elevate ships 26 meters above sea level to the level of Gatun Lake, in their transit of the channel across the Continental Divide, and then lower them back to sea level on the opposite side of the Isthmus.
During these lockages, which use water obtained from Gatun Lake, the miter gates seal the locks’ chambers and gravity drains the water to the lower levels. Approximately 197 million liters of fresh water are used for each lockage and ultimately flushed into the sea. Each set of locks features a Control House on the center wall of its higher chamber, from which this entire operation is directe
PHOTO COURTESY OF: Ginger