tar sands - definition and synonyms

noun [plural] 

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/ˈtɑː(r) ˌsændz/

or oil sands  /ˈɔɪl ˌsændz/

  1. sand or sandstone that contains bitumen, a thick and sticky form of petroleum. Tar sands oil is regarded as more polluting than conventional liquid oil.

    A cargo believed to be Europe's first major shipment of tar sands oil arrived in Spain this week.