The geography of Glasgow

On a world map, the coordinates of Glasgow are approximately 55.8 degrees north latitude and 4.3 degrees west longitude. The city is in the lowlands of west central Scotland and straddles the River Clyde; it is a unitary authority in its own right and has the largest population in Scotland. The city’s population of almost 580,000 inhabitants lives in an area of ​​17,459 hectares, which gives a population density of around 33 people per hectare, making it the most densely populated area in the country.

The River Clyde is the most important geographical feature of the city. The river is the third longest in Scotland and the eighth longest in Great Britain. Starting in the Lowther Hills of southern Lanarkshire, it flows for 176 km (106 miles), becoming the Firth of Clyde about 10 km (6 miles) east of Glasgow. As the river flows through the city, it is wide and deep enough that a major port has developed, which later also became famous for shipbuilding. It was known that the river could be forded around the High Street – Saltmarket area in medieval times.

Developed from the conglomeration of agricultural and fishing crofts along the banks of the River Clyde, at its peak in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the population of the city of Glasgow exceeded one million people. Geologically, Glasgow is quite complex. The surface geology of the city is mainly pebble silty clay about 10 m thick. However, in the north and east in particular there are also pockets of sand and gravel, all of which were deposited when the ice sheets retreated at the end of the Quaternary period. The dominant bedrock in Glasgow is Carboniferous limestone, with measurements of Carboniferous coal, mainly north of the city. Being in the central lowlands, the city sits in a rift valley of Paleozoic deposits. In Victoria Park, workers exposed fossilized tree stumps from the Carboniferous era in 1887. These sandstone casts are now encased to protect them from the elements and can be viewed in the park from April to September. The highest elevation in the city is below 100 m around the Stepps area northeast of the city limit. In the immediate area of ​​the city center, the height above sea level is about 20 m, while along the banks of the River Clyde the average is more than 6 m. Although it is only about 30m in elevation, some of the best views of the city can be seen from Queens Park, south of the city center in Pollokshields.

Some Glasgow locals try to claim that Glasgow is drier than any other city in the UK. Unfortunately this is not the case. In fact, when it comes to rainfall, Glasgow is a clear winner in terms of being the wettest city in Britain. While other coastal cities in Britain can expect up to 900mm of rain a year, on average over a twenty year period, Glasgow receives 1400mm a year. This rain is also distributed over more days than in any other city in the country, 180 days a year. This high level of rainfall is due to the proximity of Glasgow to the west coast of Scotland and the fact that most of the climate of the British Isles, and therefore that of Scotland, comes with the prevailing winds from the North Atlantic. Of importance to Glasgow in this matter is that, given its northern latitude, it does not receive any protection from the Irish landmass in terms of rainfall. However, the North Atlantic Ocean has a beneficial effect on the climate in Glasgow, as the North Atlantic Drift maintains its blanket effect throughout the year, helping to keep the temperature well above what could be expected without its warming effects. Average January temperatures of 4oC and July temperatures of up to 20oC are not uncommon and are considerably higher than in many other parts of the British Isles and Scotland. However, in the winter, Glasgow is susceptible to extremely cold and snowy weather that blows from the Arctic region to the northwest.

At an average price of £ 141,000, houses in Glasgow are slightly below the Scottish national average, which is around £ 150,000. As with most cities in the UK, the prevailing wind comes from the west. Therefore, any pollution generated by the city moves from west to east. Subsequently, in most UK cities, the ‘cleanest’ air is found in the western suburbs, while generally the industrial cores of UK cities will be to the east and north of the city . That said, the most expensive home in Glasgow is in the south-east suburb of Carmunnock. However, this is a relatively new phenomenon and has more to do with easy access to the motorway system and proximity (and relative ease of travel for business travelers) to the west of Edinburgh and the south of England. However, the area to the west of the city is traditionally the most expensive overall. This is the area where you cannot buy a house for less than £ 100,000 and the area average is £ 170,000, compared to £ 125,000 for the southeast area.

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