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Rockwell T.K.,Earth Consultants International | Rockwell T.K.,San Diego State University | Bennett R.A.,University of Arizona | Gath E.,Earth Consultants International | Franceschi P.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama

New paleoseismic results from Panama, conducted as part of the seismic hazard assessment for the expansion of the Panama Canal, have led to a reevaluation of the tectonic framework and geologic history of the isthmus of Central America. We propose a soft block indenter model wherein the collision of Central America and South America has resulted in significant internal deformation of the isthmus. Deformation is accommodated by both rapid slip on conjugate strike-slip faults within the isthmus, as well as the generally assumed flexure and northward buckling of Panama. The model is kinematically self-consistent in that there are little or no space problems created with 3 Ma of retrodeformation. Sparse GPS velocity data are consistent to within uncertainties with the new geologically constrained block model, supporting the rapid and extensive internal deformation of Panama. Together, the paleoseismologic and geodetic data suggest that central Panama is an area of high risk due to earthquakes, which is consistent with the historical occurrence of several moderate to large earthquakes in this region. However, this is generally counter to the current perception in central Panama where most people live and where there have been no large, damaging earthquakes for over 100 years. © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union. Source

Pagano A.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Light M.K.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Sanchez O.V.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama | Ungo R.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama | Tapiero E.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama
Maritime Policy and Management

The Panama Canal is currently in the process of a major expansion effort. After the new set of locks is opened in 2014, significantly larger ships can traverse the canal. This paper examines the economic impact of the canal expansion on the economy of Panama. The analysis is performed through an Input-Output (IO) model. The analysis is further developed through the use of a computational general equilibrium model that allows the exploration of the interactions of different variables using a second set of data for 2008. The results are then calibrated with variables produced by the 2006 IO model. A gravity model formulation is then used to estimate the economies of agglomeration and network effects that result from the canal on the Panama Canal Trade in Logistics Services Cluster. The implications of the study are significant for the canal, the government and country itself. Just as any business needs to estimate its return on investment to align its budget, Panama needs to understand the economic impact of the canal expansion. In addition, the results of the research can be very useful for developing countries interested in estimating the impact of their ports and maritime industry on growth and development in the future. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Pagano A.M.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Wang G.W.Y.,Texas A&M University at Galveston | Sanchez O.V.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama | Ungo R.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama
Maritime Policy and Management

Panama has five main ports: Balboa and PSA Panama International on the Pacific, and Cristóbal, Manzanillo and Colon Container Terminal (CCT) on the Caribbean side. The government of Panama originally operated the ports of Balboa and Cristóbal. After being transferred from the United States government, most of these ports were privatized in the late 1990s. During this period, some ports in the United States have moved away from operating to non-operating. There are more private sector involvements and public-private partnerships. However, in the US there are few full asset privatizations as was done in Panama. This range of privatizations provides the opportunity to study the effects of various types of privatization on port production. We use financial econometric techniques to assess port performance during government operation and private sector operation. The results of the study provide an estimate of the savings and effectiveness gains from privatizations. Few studies examine effectiveness, beyond questionnaires of users. However, especially for transshipment ports as are the case in Panama, service variables, along with price, are very important in determining demand for service. This study compares the effectiveness of Panama privatized ports with US ports in which there are degrees of privatization. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Alfaro L.D.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama | Baecher G.B.,University of Maryland University College | Guerra F.,Autoridad del Canal de Panama | Patev R.C.,University of Maryland University College
12th International Conference on Applications of Statistics and Probability in Civil Engineering, ICASP 2015

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of natural and chronic risks to improve planning and to optimize its engineering safeguards. The risk assessment program began with an all-inclusive risk register. The register lists somewhat more than 500 items divided among the many categories of facilities constituting the Canal (dams, locks, cuts, gates, power stations, water plants, and others) and among the various hazards facing the Canal (seismic, hydrologic, meteorological, operational). Scientific and operations data for the Canal have been compiled to characterize risk, while modern reliability models have been developed to translate those data into actionable assessments of reliability and consequence. Risks were categorized as catastrophic, significant, or moderate. The first set has been engineered in detail; the others have been approached operationally. The resulting probabilities and consequences are tracked in acceptable risk charts in FN format better to understand where risk remediation is called for. This comprehensive risk assessment is allowing ACP to reduce risk while meaningly keeping costs under control. Source

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