Glasgow’s got the Hydrocarbon Hump: Urban Pollution Transport Corridors in the River Clyde...by Christopher Vane
Recent research on the surface sediment chemistry of the upper River Clyde, Glasgow reaches and tributaries as well as tidal estuary has shown that Glasgow’s urban tributaries have got the ‘hump’. Organic geochemists call the ‘hump’ a fancy name, the unresolvable complex mixture (UCM), because it’s comprised of thousands of hydrocarbon compounds which are difficult to separate using standard analytical methods such as gas-chromatography (GC). The largest humps are usually found in soils and sediments which have accumulated weathered crude oils and or refined oil products such as engine and industrial lubricants. These leak into soils and are washed into river sediments via road run-off .