What is the precise meaning of the sentence? What does ‘rippled outward’ means in the bold sentence? Does buckling means throwing here? And, if so, then how an earthquake can buckle the earth’s crust into the air?

The first effect was to bury a crater almost forty kilometers deep into the earth’s crust, simultaneously ejecting some one hundred cubic kilometers of earth into the atmosphere in a twenty-thousand-degree fireball that reached into space. All living things within several hundred kilometers were simply vaporized. Earthquakes of magnitude 12 or 13 rippled outward from the impact, violently buckling the earth’s crust hundreds of meters into the air. This seismic activity triggered a massive tsunami, perhaps a kilometer high, that swept across the Gulf of Mexico and struck the coastline with enough force to travel twenty kilometers inland.

  • 1
    When earth (soil and rock) is given a sudden shock, it can behave like a fluid. This can happen in an earthquake, or when a large, fast-moving object from space hits our planet. – Michael Harvey Apr 3 at 12:01

If you throw a pebble into a pond the water ripples out from the point of impact. In this case when the meteor hit the earth it had the same effect.

To buckle in this sense is to crumple. The earth can indeed buckle upwards, that is how many mountain ranges are formed by the collision between tectonic plates. See the relevant Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tectonics


to ripple out[ward] means to move in small waves (called ripples) from some point or line or origin away from the point or line of origin.

Rippling waves:

Tons of rippling waves

From Shutterstock.com [above]

Below: theconversation.com


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.