debris + rubble

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  • I believe they're near synonomous, or the same.

    But if I was going to mention destroyed buildings and land after a hurricane, I would tell you there was debris everywhere... Lots of scatterd, random objects.

    Rubble reminds me more of what you would find after a rock-slide or fallen building. ...Disorder and messy, but much of the same item in a contained area.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Like Oceanrandom, I feel there is some difference.
    I would describe a pile of stones, bricks and other stony structural collapsed stuff as rubble.
    Debris suggests a different class of stuff - much more man-made.

    I couldn't exchange rubble and debris in these sentences:
    If a stone wall collapses, it becomes a pile of rubble.
    If a plane crashes, debris is scattered over a wide area.
     

    mamboney

    Senior Member
    English (USA)
    sanchezmariamerce said:
    Hello everyone!
    Could you tell me the difference between debris and rubble?
    Thank you very much!!
    I think that debris could refer to anything (pieces of trash, broken things, etc.), whereas rubble more specifically refers to stone/bricks/remnants of a building.

    After an earthquake, a person would search through the rubble of a collapsed building to find survivors.

    After a plane crash, the debris from the plane (bits of seat, papers, suitcases) would be strewn across the landscape.

    Sorry about the grim examples!
     

    rehaan

    Senior Member
    hindi
    I searched the difference between rubble and debris.

    << Moderator note: This thread has been merged with the one above. >>

    Now look at this:

    Monsoon-influenced glaciers have been retreating in the central rugged Himalayan region. The researchers found that debris from the mountains was choking the flow of water into a number of glaciers, which was not a good sign.(Article :himalyan glaciers not in dangers )

    So the doubt is when rubble is used with more of a building and natural stuff like that,and debris is more often used with trashes and manmade disasters. Then why "debris from the mountains"? Welcome any replies.
     
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    kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hello. My own personal feeling is that rubble is usually in a pile or confined place and debris is more scattered over a larger area. Rubble usually has to do with bricks, stone and building materials and debris is everything that gets swept/blown away in a flood/plane crash, etc.
    Hope this helps.
     

    rehaan

    Senior Member
    hindi
    So debris can substitute rubble (but not vice versa).It is an umbrella term that covers rubble too.And there is no concept like natural or man made as mentioned above by someone.(Because then the usage of "Debris" will appear to be incorrect).
    have I understood you correctly?
     
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    kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    So debris can substitute rubble (but not vice versa).It is an umbrella term that covers rubble too.And there is no concept like natural or man made as mentioned above by someone.(Because then the usage of "Debris" will appear to be incorrect).
    have i understood you correctly?
    I don't really agree with this.

    I think what was said above is quite well put. Rubble is found in a concentrated area and usually has to do with the remains of a building. Debris is scattered over a large area and can contain man-made materials as well as trees, for example.
    When a building is razed, for example, the result is a pile of rubble. A mudslide, landslide, flood or plane crash causes debris to be scattered over a large area.

    Also: When demolition experts raze a building they implode it. The result is a nice confined pile of rubble. When a terrorist group plants a bomb in a building and the building explodes it sends debris over an area of several city blocks.
     

    rehaan

    Senior Member
    hindi
    ok. so first part regarding substitution is wrongly interpreted and also the umbrella part.But second one is correctly interpreted as you yourself elucidated that debris can fall in both manmade and natural category over a concentrated area.(which was not the view of @Panjandrum ??
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    rehaan. In essence, rubble is man-made debris. It is fragments of stone, brick, concrete etc, especially from the demolition of buidlings. Debris is a more general term, which could also include loose natural material such as broken rocks. Rubble is a form of debris. Debris may be rubble, but may be other things as well.

    For example, if a coastal cliff collapses because of erosion, the beach below will be littered by the debris from the collapse. That debris is not rubble. If there was a house on the cliff, the debris from the house would be rubble.

    Edit

    Just seen kayokid's post. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter how a building is destroyed - the debris from a collapsed, imploded or exploded building, whether in a neat pile or widely spread, is rubble.
     
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    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Both debris and rubble are used in geology to refer to natural remains:
    Loose angular stones or fragments of broken material forming the upper covering of some rocks, and found beneath alluvium or overlying soil; also, water-worn stones.
    "Land shells in the infra-glacial chalk-rubble at Sewerby"

    in Geol. applied to any accumulation of loose material arising from the waste of rocks;
    "This erosion removes support from the base of the slope and can trigger a sudden flow of debris."

    Both terms can, of course, refer to man-made remains:
    Debris:
    any similar [to geological debris] rubbish formed by destructive operations.

    The remains of anything broken down or destroyed; ruins, wreck


    Rubble (amongst other definitions):
    Waste fragments of stone, esp. as constituting the rubbish of decayed or demolished buildings;

    [Definitions: OED]

    I don't think there is any distinction between debris or rubble as to whether they are concentrated or widespread.
     

    kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Andygc--

    In terms of what I wrote earlier and your comment: As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter how a building is destroyed - the debris from a collapsed, imploded or exploded building, whether in a neat pile or widely spread, is rubble.
    If a building is destroyed by a terrorist bomb...
    I would say that "...debris was strewn over a 4 block area" and never "...rubble was strewn over a 4 block area". What are your thoughts on that specific sentence/phrase?
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Locally a two level garage at the shopping mall collapsed a couple of years ago.

    About two weeks after the collapse I was driving to the mall and "construction debris" fell and landed on my car. The "debris" consisted of a temporary fence, some lumber and a few pieces of "rubble" that was being used to anchor the fence. Since the damage was done primarily by the "debris" that is how I described it in the insurance reports ($5,400.00 in damages).

    If I had parked it on the lower level two weeks earlier it would have been crushed by "rubble".

    Side note: Apparently snow is heavier than cars. The mall maintenance people plowed all the snow on the second level to one section of the garage, thus overloading the structure and causing the failure.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Andygc--

    In terms of what I wrote earlier and your comment: As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter how a building is destroyed - the debris from a collapsed, imploded or exploded building, whether in a neat pile or widely spread, is rubble.
    If a building is destroyed by a terrorist bomb...
    I would say that "...debris was strewn over a 4 block area" and never "...rubble was strewn over a 4 block area". What are your thoughts on that specific sentence/phrase?
    Oh, I'd probably say "debris was strewn over ...", but when it came to walking around the 4 blocks and looking at it I'd probably say "this rubble is all over the place". I think that's my point - to me rubble is a type of debris but debris is a wider term than rubble.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Oh, I'd probably say "debris was strewn over ...", but when it came to walking around the 4 blocks and looking at it I'd probably say "this rubble is all over the place". I think that's my point - to me rubble is a type of debris but debris is a wider term than rubble.
    I sort of agree. But you cannot say that rubble is a subset of debris though.

    If all the components consisted of bricks, stones, concrete and boulders, then it could properly be called rubble, but I don't think it could properly be called debris. For it to be debris it would have to include other items like sticks, twigs, lumber, glass, steel, etc.
     
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