World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Ship canal

Article Id: WHEBN0000193700
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ship canal  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Manchester Ship Canal, Canal+, Canal, Science and engineering in Manchester, Chesapeake and Delaware Canal
Collection: Coastal Construction, Ship Canals, Shipping, Water Transport
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ship canal

A ship canal is a canal especially intended to accommodate ships used on the oceans, seas or lakes to which it is connected, as opposed to a barge canal intended to carry barges and other vessels specifically designed for river and/or canal navigation. Because of the constraints of accommodating vessels capable of navigating large bodies of open water, a ship canal typically offers deeper water and higher bridge clearances that a barge canal of similar vessel length and width constraints.

Ship canals may be specially constructed from the start to accommodate ships, or less frequently they may be enlarged barge canals, or canalized or channelized rivers. There are no specific minimum dimensions for ship canals, with the size being largely dictated by the size of ships in use nearby at the time of construction or enlargement.

Ship canals may be constructed for a number of reasons, including:

  1. To create a shortcut and avoid lengthy detours.
  2. To create a navigable shipping link between two land-locked seas or lakes.
  3. To provide inland cities with a direct shipping link to the sea.
  4. To provide an economical alternative to other options.


  • Important ship canals 1
  • Navigability 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

Important ship canals

Canal Length Lock depth Dimensions Location Notes
White Sea – Baltic Canal 141 mi (227 km) 3.5 m (11 ft) 135 m × 14.3 m × 3.5 m Russia
  • Opened in 1933, is partly a canalised river, partly an artificial canal, and partly some natural lakes.
  • Shallow depth limits modern vessels from using the canal.
Rhine-Main-Danube Canal 106 mi (171 km) 4 m (13 ft) lock dimensions: 190m x 11.45 m x 4 m  Germany
Suez Canal 120.11 mi (193.30 km) No locks, but 24 m (79 ft) deep. 205 m (673 ft) wide  Egypt
Volga-Don Canal 62 mi (100 km) 3.5 m (11 ft) lock dimensions: 140m x 16.7 m x 3.5 m  Russia
Kiel Canal 60 mi (97 km) 14 m (46 ft) lock dimensions: 310m x 42 m x 14 m  Germany
Houston Ship Channel 56 mi (90 km) 14 m (46 ft) 161 m (528 ft) wide  United States
Panama Canal 51 mi (82 km) 25.9 m (85 ft) lock dimensions: 320m x 33.53 m x 25.9 m  Panama
Danube-Black Sea Canal 40 mi (64 km) 5.5 m (18 ft) lock dimensions: 138 m x 16.8 m x 5.5 m  Romania
Manchester Ship Canal 36 mi (58 km) 8.78 m (28.8 ft) lock dimensions: 170.68 m x 21.94 m x 8.78 m  United Kingdom
Welland Canal 43.4 km (27.0 mi) 8.2 m (27 ft) lock dimensions: 225.5 m x 23.9 m x 8.2 m  Canada
Saint Lawrence Seaway 600 km (370 mi) 8.2 m (27 ft) lock dimensions: 225.5 m x 2.3 m x 8.2 m  Canada
 United States


The standard used in the European Union for classifying the navigability of inland waterways is the European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance (AGN) of 1996, adopted by The Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), which defines the following classes:[1] (This table is incomplete.)

Class Tonnage (t) Draught (m) Length (m) Width (m) Air Draught (m) Description
Class III 1,000
Class IV 1,000–1,500 2.5 80–85 9.5 5.2–7.0 Johann Welker[1]
Class Va 1,500–3,000 2.5–2.8 95–110 11.4 5.2–7.0–9.1 Large Rhine[1]
Class VIb 6,400–12,000 3.9 140 15 9.1 [1]
Class VII 14,500–27,000 2.5–4.5 275–285 33.0–34.2 9.1 [1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "European Agreement on the main Inland Waterways of international importance (AGN)" (PDF). 2072, I-35939.  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.