We report on laboratory experiments dealing with the interaction of clay-sized sediments with oil slicks on Class 1–2 rivers. We find that given enough time, clay-sized sediments can sink nearly all surface oil. In addition, the greater the viscosity of the oil, the less the degree of interaction. We present plots for estimating the rate at which sediments attach to and bring down oil slicks – at the maximum rate observed, about 15% of a slick of intermediate fuel oil (IFO) could be sunk in 1 km of rapids with 0.5 m waves; half of a slick could be sunk in about 4500 m of river length.

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