In a field trial, oiled beach sand was buried in a coastal dune system in south Wales. A monitoring programme was designed to assess the rate of leaching of inorganic ions and hydrocarbons from the deposit. Active breakdown of the weathered oil occurred within the oiled beach sand, but hydrocarbons from the original material, or arising as a result of degradation, did not follow the same leaching pattern as inorganic ions; they remained within the original deposit. The results suggest that weathered oil coming ashore from spills at sea can be mixed with sand and buried to degrade in coastal soils, without risk of groundwater contamination by hydrocarbons.\u
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