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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to

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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 31 Oct 2018, 00:18
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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.


(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower


http://discovermagazine.com/1996/nov/hotandcoldspotsb935

To map Earth’s interior, geologists use a worldwide network of seismometers that chart the movement of seismic waves generated by earthquakes. These waves, originating in Earth’s crust or upper mantle, ricochet around the interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly through hotter rocks.

First glance


The first three choices place a comma after the word interior. The final two choices remove the comma and use the word and. These two clues together signal possible Modifier, Sentence Structure, or Parallelism issues.

Issues

(1) Parallelism: X and Y

Find the X and Y portions that map to the parallelism marker.

(A) most rapidly traveling … and slower

(B) travel most rapidly … and more slowly

(C) traveling most rapidly … and more slowly

(D) most rapidly travel … and slower

(E) travel most rapidly … and slower

Answers (B) and (C) are definitely parallel because both use the –ly versions of the relevant words (rapidly, slowly). Answers (A), (D), and (E) use slower instead of more slowly. Slower is primarily an adjective, not an adverb. While it can be possible in certain circumstances to use slower as an adverb, when parallelism is in play, it’s better to use the strict adverb form to signal clear parallelism: rapidly and slowly. Eliminate choices (A), (D), and (E).

(2) Modifier: which

Answer (B) employs a comma-which modifier. Check to make sure it’s used correctly.

A comma-which modifier should refer back to the closest main noun before the comma. In this case, that noun is interior, which does not make sense. The prior noun is earth’s crust, but this also does not make sense. The logical word is seismic waves but this is too far back to go with the comma-which modifier. Eliminate choice (B).

The Correct Answer

Correct answer (C) uses the parallel construction most rapidly and more slowly. It also properly uses a comma –ing modifier, which refers back to the prior action, not just the prior main noun. The prior action is the seismic waves ricochet(ing) around the interior of the earth’s crust.

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Originally posted by souvik101990 on 30 Sep 2015, 05:55.
Last edited by Bunuel on 31 Oct 2018, 00:18, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2016, 06:59
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rukna wrote:
I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.


A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.
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New post 30 Sep 2015, 07:13
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dipanjan_1988 wrote:
Ans E?
A,B and C are modifying the interior and not the waves.
D is not parallel.


C is not modifying the interior but it is modifying the whole preceding phrase.
the comma + ing phrase can be used to show cause and effect relationship as well as to give extra info about the preceding phrase.
Here the modifier is performing the latter part.

And between slower and more slowly we require adverb to modify travelling. So more slowly is correct
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New post 11 Oct 2015, 21:35
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A, D and E: cold, dense regions and slower
Here, a reader might construe that slower is an ADJECTIVE intended to be parallel with cold and dense (both adjectives).
The intended meaning is for slower to serve as an ADVERB modifying traveling.
B and C convey this meaning more clearly by using the parallel forms most rapidly and more slowly:
MOST RAPIDLY through cold, dense regions and MORE SLOWLY through hotter rocks.
Eliminate A, D and E.

The referent for which + PLURAL VERB must be the NEAREST PRECEDING PLURAL NOUN.
B: waves that originate...which travel
Here, which travel (which + PLURAL VERB) seems to refer to waves (the nearest preceding plural noun).
As a result, that and which both have the same referent (waves).
Two different pronouns cannot have the same referent.
Eliminate B.

The correct answer is C.
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New post 30 Jan 2017, 00:01
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Normally we wouldn't stack two noun modifiers together like that, regardless of whether "which" or "that" is used. In this case, since the first modifier ends in a noun ("interior"), the second modifier ends up incorrectly modifying that noun. That's one of the main reasons we're not going to do well stacking modifiers.

In theory, you could have two modifiers, one essential (using that) and the other non-essential (using which):

The book that I wrote, which comes out this summer, describes my experiences in Iran.

Note that in this case, the first modifier ends in a verb, not a noun, so there's no confusion about what the second noun is modifying.
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New post 30 Sep 2015, 06:06
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I think it's C

Slower vs more slowly - it's the latter. hence, B or C. I don't see why there should be a comma in B after 'regions', so I go with C.

souvik101990 wrote:
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold. dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

A. interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
B. interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
C. interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
D. interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
E. interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower
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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

A. interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
- "rapidly" is NOT // w/ "slower"

B. interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
- ", which" incorrectly refers to "interior". How can interior travel rapidly?

C. interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
- correct as is.

D. interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
- same as "A". "rapidly" and slower" are NOT //

E. interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower
- same as "A". "rapidly" and slower" are NOT //

pretty easy here once you understand that they're testing parallelism. "rapidly" and "slowly" are both adverbs that need be parallel. once you get this, you've got a 50/50 shot!

Kudos please if you find this helpful :)
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New post 23 Jan 2019, 16:00
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Hello Everyone!

Let's take a closer look at this question, one issue at a time, and narrow it down to the correct answer! First, here is the original question with any major differences between the options highlighted in orange:

To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

After a quick glance over the options, there are a few places we can focus on:

1. most rapidly traveling / travel most rapidly / traveling most rapidly / most rapidly travel
2. slower / more slowly
3. comma vs. no comma before "and"


Since #1 on our list seems a bit complicated, let's start with #2 on our list because it should eliminate 2-3 options quickly. This is an issue of parallelism, so let's make sure the two adverbs are written using the same structure:

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly
(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower

We can eliminate options A, D, & E because they don't use parallel structure when describing the two speeds a seismometer travels in different conditions.

Now that we have it narrowed down to only 2 options, let's see if we can find any other problems to eliminate one of these options, leaving us with the correct choice:

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

This is INCORRECT for two reasons. First, using the comma + which creates a modifier that must refer back to the nearest preceding noun. In this case, that noun is "interior," which isn't what's traveling - the seismometer is! Second, there shouldn't be a comma before the "and" here. It's connecting two dependent clauses together, so it doesn't need a comma. We only use ",and" when connecting two independent clauses or when introducing the last item in a list. Since this is neither of those instances, it's not necessary.

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

This is CORRECT! It's clear that the phrase that begins with "traveling" is referring back to the seismometer, it uses parallel structure (rapidly/slowly), and it doesn't have that extra comma before "and."


There you have it - option C is the correct choice!


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New post 08 Oct 2015, 04:13
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A, D and E: cold, dense regions and slower
Here, a reader might construe that slower is an ADJECTIVE intended to be parallel with cold and dense (both adjectives).
The intended meaning is for slower to serve as an ADVERB modifying traveling.
B and C convey this meaning more clearly by using the parallel forms most rapidly and more slowly:
MOST RAPIDLY through cold, dense regions and MORE SLOWLY through hotter rocks.
Eliminate A, D and E.

The referent for which + PLURAL VERB must be the NEAREST PRECEDING PLURAL NOUN.
B: waves that originate...which travel
Here, which travel (which + PLURAL VERB) seems to refer to waves (the nearest preceding plural noun).
As a result, that and which both have the same referent (waves).
Two different pronouns cannot have the same referent.
Eliminate B.

The correct answer is C.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2016, 07:02
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rukna wrote:
sayantanc2k wrote:
rukna wrote:
I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.


A present participle modifier refers to the subject of the preceding clause or the entire preceding clause.

In this case the clause " that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior" is the preceding clause, and hence the present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." refers to the subject "that" of the previous clause; the pronoun "that" here is used to replace "waves".

Consider that the entire present participle modifier "traveling most rapidly...." is nested within the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks."

You are right in thinking that there could be a bit of ambiguity since the present participle clause "travelling...." could refer to "Geologists", if one considers that it is outside the relative clause "that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its.......through hotter rocks." However in that case we would have to choose E as the correct answer, which has a more severe problem as follows:

E is wrong because two clauses are joined just with "and" not with comma + "and".

Wrong: I play and I sing
Right: I play, and I sing
Right: I play and sing.

Similarly,
Wrong: that originate and ricochet and that travel
Right: that originate and ricochet, and that travel
Right: that originate, ricochet and travel

Moreover option E does not depict the bearing between ricocheting and travelling and considers them as two different activities.


Thanks, that was useful.
I never considered comma as main decision point until now. Will note this point.


Nonetheless, in a real GMAT question I have never come across an answer being eliminated ONLY because of punctuation issues.
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New post 31 Oct 2018, 00:12
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There's a simple problem with E. It says "waves that originate AND richochet AND that travel." That looks like a mess of conjunctions and an unneeded second "that"! If we wanted to justify the last part by saying it's "that originate and ricochet" AND "that travel," we'd need to have a reason to separate that third verb out. The version in C makes much more sense. "Traveling rapidly/slowly" is what the waves do WHILE they're ricocheting, and an adverbial modifier ("traveling") is the way to express that.

As for "most rapidly/slower," that *can* be parallel. Fast and slow are funny words, in that they are used as both adjectives and adverbs. Language can be funny that way.
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New post 30 Sep 2015, 09:17
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gagan0001 wrote:
dipanjan_1988 wrote:
Ans E?
A,B and C are modifying the interior and not the waves.
D is not parallel.


C is not modifying the interior but it is modifying the whole preceding phrase.
the comma + ing phrase can be used to show cause and effect relationship as well as to give extra info about the preceding phrase.
Here the modifier is performing the latter part.

And between slower and more slowly we require adverb to modify travelling. So more slowly is correct


Here verb-ing part is modifying or defining the way seisomometers chart seismic waves. They do so by travelling through different routes in different ways.

The seismometers chart seismic waves by traveling
    most rapidly through cold, dense regions and
    more slowly through hotter rocks.

even if travelling is not mentioend near more slowly it is understood.
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New post 05 May 2016, 08:22
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To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

A. interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower : what is most rapidly travelling thru cold? not sure move on!
B. interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly : interior travel? weird!
C. interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly : travelling modifies richocheting and it says "seismeic waves richocheting by travelling through bla bla...." seems correct!
{remember two functions of ",ing" modifier 1. describe the action and should hold logical with the subject performing the same action (use "by" as shown in above example) 2. cause and effect. }
D. interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower : and is wrongly used. read the sentence and youll know how it sounds. (and and and.....) no proper parallelism!
E. interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower : now this "and"puts two things in parallel ..seismic waves that originate and seismic waves that travel most rapidly ...seems correct

between C and E
richocheting means something moving like a bullet ( here richochet is used as a verb) thus intended meaning is to describe that richocheting ..even if intended meaning is not clear go for other split that is C : most rapidly.. and slowly...
E : most rapidly.. and slower .
so C is describing the richocheting (verb) using "slowly" (adverb) correctly but "slower" is comparative form (adjective)
ans : C
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New post 01 Aug 2016, 00:31
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jbyx78 wrote:
Hi, is "slower" only used as an ajective or can it also be used as an adverb ? (I came across this issue on the following question) Thanks a lot ! :-D

To map Earth’s interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic
waves that originate in the earth’s crust and ricochet around its interior, most
rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.
(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower
(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and
more slowly
(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more
slowly
(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower
(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and
slower


Keep in mind we need to compare like terms. In each answer, it says, "rapidly." So because there's a comparison, we need "slowly." Elim all but B & C.
C is correct because it's saying [subject] travelling most rapidly...and [implied subject] [implied verb] more slowly. I teach my clients that a common subject is like a fork, and the verbs are like the prongs. If there is a common subject we need verbs and other things to be parallel.
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New post 18 Jan 2020, 03:00
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Dear Friends,

Here is a detailed explanation to this question-

souvik101990 wrote:
To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(A) interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

(D) interior and most rapidly travel through cold, dense regions, and slower

(E) interior and that travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions and slower


Choice A: In Option A, we observe a parallelism error between "rapidly traveling" and "slower"; the word "rapidly" is an adverb, while "slower" is primarily an adjective that is being used as an adverb in this case. Thus, Option A is incorrect.

Choice B: In Option B, we see a modifier error; the word "which" is preceded by a comma and a noun, meaning that "which" will refer to the noun "interior". This modification alters the meaning of the sentence by implying that "the interior" is what is traveling, rather than the "waves". Thus, Option B is incorrect.

Choice C: Option C maintains parallelism throughout the sentence. Moreover, this option avoids the modifier error found in Option B; it does so by utilizing the modifier ", traveling..." which affects the preceding action, rather than the preceding noun. Thus, Option C is correct.

Choice D: Option D repeats the parallelism error seen in Option A. Thus, Option D is incorrect.

Choice E: Option E repeats the parallelism error seen in Options A and E. Moreover, Option E is needlessly wordy as it includes a second conjunction and "that" to describe how the waves travel through the different regions. It would be more concise to apply a modifying phrase to the verb "ricochet", as this verb is a component of how the waves travel. Thus, Option E is incorrect.

Hence, C is the best answer choice.

To understand the concept of using "Which, Who, Whose, and Where on GMAT”, you may want to watch the following video (~1 minute):



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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Apr 2020, 12:18
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newspapersalesman wrote:
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Hi, Mr Ninja
I am not a native speaker so my writing can be confusing. I've been a big fan of you and Ron since I started preparing for GMAT.
Choice B:interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly

QUESTION 1: When we look at option B in this problem, should I think of "which travel most...." is trying to modify the noun "waves" and say "this construction is terrible because it puts two modifiers(modifying the same noun) together" or should I think of the rule that "which" modifies the preceded noun and say "the verb (travel) should be singular?


MY OPINION: I prefer the first thought process because "which" doesn't alway modify the preceding noun, it could sometimes jump around.

QUESTION 2
I also have another question, since "choose the answer that is most effective.... in conveying message" is mentioned in the OG,(OG instruction to SC I believe) should I consider construction when I eliminate 3 choices and end up with 2 choices(when I really have to pick one out of the two)?

Regarding your first question, I think you should consider BOTH of the points you mentioned when eliminating choice (B)!

You are right that "which" doesn't always modify the preceding noun, but in this case we have an entire clause in between the "which" and the thing it should modify. That alone is a pretty strong vote against (B). And, as you said, the "which" can't possibly modify the closest noun ("interior"), since that would require using a singular verb ("travels").

But let's say we're okay with that and assume that "which" correctly modifies "waves". In that case we'd want to use a parallel structure, i.e.: "... seismic waves (1) that originate and ricochet AND (2) that travel...". Instead, choice (B) essentially gives us, "... seismic waves (1) that originate and ricochet, (2) which travel...". The use of two different relative pronouns ("that" and "which") and the lack of an "and" to link the two modifiers makes this structure confusing, at best.

So instead of looking at individual grammar points in a bubble to figure out which "rule" (B) violates the most, just recognize that the logical meaning is much clearer in choice (C). :)

Grammar issues are, at heart, about clarity and logic. So when comparing two choices, you always want to think about meaning. Do the differences between the two options impact the meaning? Is the meaning more clear/logical/reasonable in one option?

For more on that, check out the our SC guide for beginners, if you haven't already.

I hope that helps!
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2016, 03:20
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I was stuck b/w C and E.

In C, I thought that there is ambiguity on who is travelling => the waves or geologists. So, I thought that was wrong.
Can someone explain why is this right then.
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Aug 2019, 08:38
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hammypancakey wrote:
I got this question wrong and I hope someone can explain why the answer is (c).
So according to e-gmat (article link: https://gmatclub.com/forum/usage-of-ver ... 35220.html), if the verb-ing modifier appears after a clause and is preceded by a comma, then it modifies the entire preceding clause.
If this is true, shouldn't "traveling most rapidly through... slowly" in (c) should modify the clause "geologist use a network... around its interior"?
And if so, (c) doesn't make sense as a correct answer. I'm really confused, any help will be appreciated, thanks!

Your understanding of how VERB-ing modifiers operate when they follow CLAUSE + COMMA is correct, but in this case, you've got the wrong clause. Take another look at the relevant portion:

    "...geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions..."

The clause that precedes "traveling" is "that [waves] originate in the earth's crust and ricochet..." It makes perfect sense for "traveling most rapidly through cold dense regions," to provide additional context about what the waves are doing when they're ricocheting around, so (C) is fine.

The takeaway: when you see COMMA + VERB-ing, it's possible there will be multiple preceding clauses. Make sure you're evaluating the correct one.

I hope that helps!
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Re: To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2019, 21:40
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Brego7 wrote:
the clause that MAKES sense with it?

Hi Brego7, this is the position I would go with, though the nearest clause would be a preference.

In light of this, option C in the sentence under consideration is absolutely fine, since the nearest clause is:

that (seismic waves) originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior

So, the participial phrase (traveling most rapidly through...) is correctly modifying the subject (seismic waves) of the nearest preceding clause.
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New post 01 May 2020, 13:16
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jiaxin wrote:
Hi everyone, the verb after "which" is actually plural (travel instead of travels); therefore, shouldn't this imply that we are talking about seismic waves, the only plural subject in this entire sentence? So choice B would technically make sense? Thanks!

Hello, jiaxin. I would not eliminate (B) on the grounds of which travel, but instead because of the comma preceding and. Compare (B) and (C):

To map Earth's interior, geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves that originate in the earth's crust and ricochet around its interior, most rapidly traveling through cold, dense regions and slower through hotter rocks.

(B) interior, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly
(C) interior, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly

In the sentence at hand, cold, dense is acting as a coordinate adjective to modify regions. The comma is necessary because the sentence could just as easily reverse the order of the adjectives, as in, dense, cold regions. If you follow the shell of the sentence with each answer choice, you get a comma that cannot be justified in (B), since and is just acting to join two adverbs that describe how waves travel, A and B, rather than introduce the final item in a list or join two independent clauses. Consider:

1) Geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves, which travel most rapidly through cold, dense regions, and more slowly through hotter rocks.
2) Geologists use a network of seismometers to chart seismic waves, traveling most rapidly through cold, dense regions and more slowly through hotter rocks.

Although I have seen people place a comma in the slot I am drawing attention to in (B), I have NOT seen such usage in a correct SC answer on the GMAT™. I hope that helps clarify any lingering doubts you may have harbored; if not, I would be happy to discuss the question further.

Good luck with your studies.

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