A numerical model describing the penetration of petroleum oil into sandy beach sediments was developed to assess the behavior of stranded oil at tidal zone as a result of tanker accidents, and so on. To understand the penetration behavior, penetration rate of three species of petroleum oil (two species of fuel oil C and one species of crude oil) was observed experimentally with artificial tidal zone equipment. As a consequence, two types of oil were distinguished from the viewpoint of penetration rate. One (fuel oil C-1) kept its homogeneity in composition and showed relatively rapid penetration, the other (fuel oil C-2 and crude oil) became heterogeneous and slow in penetration. Considering this aspect as the adsorption of polar compounds (i.e. asphaltenes) on the sediment surface, a numerical model that described oil penetration into sandy beach was developed. As a result, the difference in penetration rate between these two types of oil could not be replicated sufficiently only by consideration of the adsorption. However, the change of a parameter value which represents the apparent viscosity of oil led to good agreement with observations. Simulation results indicated that when fuel oil C or crude oil used in this study was stranded at a sandy beach located in Hiroshima Bay, Japan, 2 to 39% of total stranded oil might penetrate into the deeper zone (> 3 cm in depth) over 50 days.