NetLogo User Community Models
This model illustrates the well known conundrum about the operation of the Panama Canal.
It hinges upon the fact that for a canal to operate there must be water available, or made available by pumping, at the upper levels of the system.
The puzzle is often put to small sailboat enthusiasts, (many do, or at least dream of making transit through the canal), in the form of the suggestion that a 30 foot sailboat uses as much of the upper lakes waters as a 20,000 ton ship in passing through the canal. This can lead to heated argument at the bar of the sailing club.
To make the animation manageable the system is compressed into two locks and one upper lake; also we allow
EACH TIME press SETUP followed by the choice of BOAT.
When a vessel reaches the top of a lock the water that has been added to the lock does not include the displacement volume of the vessel; but when a vessel moves into the lake, water equal to this volume is
NOTE: It would be USUAL for transits by several vessels to be made simultaneously in both directions and seldom if ever would a lock operate empty of a vessel; but this does not change the result.
The author Derek Rush may be contacted by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org March 2003.
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