Strengthening the Operation of the Panama Canal through Erosion and Sediment Transport Analysis using Nucleonic Control System Applications, Radiotracers and FRN and CSSI methodologies
Decreased sediment volumes in different areas of the Panama Canal basin.
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) must efficiently and scientifically exploit sediments from natural causes and dredging to ensure that the commercial link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans remains open. ACP must rely on constant dredging, a costly process involving large scale earthmoving equipment, and complicated by seasonal tropical storms and extreme dry weather. This process will now be cheaper and more effective thanks to a better understanding of sediment accumulation and movement in the Panama Canal basin. Experts from the Technological University of Panama (UTP), working together with the ACP, have learned to take advantage of radiation technologies to model sediment movement, in particular, on the Atlantic side of the Canal, within the framework of the PAN1001 and RLA1013 projects. Based on these models, they are planning to develop new dredging practices to ensure a continued flow through this route. A characterization of the dynamics of sediment transport and erosion phenomena through the use of radiotracers, specific stable compound isotopic analysis (CSSI) and fallout radionuclide (FRN) techniques would provide a rigorous and effective monitoring methodology. In addition, studies related to sediment transport for seafloor loading using radiotracers are included in the Country Programme Framework (CPF) 2020–2025 situation analysis. (1) Energy and industry will benefit from radiotracer techniques and the nucleonic control system being used to evaluate sediment transport parameters. (2) Agrifood will benefit, as it will be possible to achieve control of forested areas, soil management, erosion control and deposition. (3) In terms of water and environment, the results can be used to better manage the operation of the Canal. (4) National human resources will be developed through training in the use of nuclear analytical techniques. The results from the project will help with the elaboration of Sediment Concentration Maps within the operational areas of the Panama.
- Alexander Dario Esquivel López - Investigador Principal (IP)
- Nathalia Diazibeth Tejedor Flores - Co-Investigador (Co-IP)
- Reinhardt Pinzón - Co-Investigador (Co-IP)
- Maudi Eneida Barragan - Co-Investigador (Co-IP)
- Rubens Martins Moreira (Inv. Externo)
- Jimena Juri Ayub (Inv. Externo)
- Patrick Brisett (Inv. Externo)
- Gerardo Antonio Maghella Seminario (Inv. Externo)
- Xavier Sánchez (Investigador Colaborador)