The topology of telephone cord buckles that form beneath compressed diamond-like carbon films (DLC) on glass substrates has been characterized with Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) and with the Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Using AFM with 2nm resolution, the wavelength and amplitude of the buckles and their profiles have been measured. It has been found that, within each wavelength, the profile has symmetric and asymmetric segments. These changes have been related to differences in local mode mixity around the periphery of each repeat unit along the buckle, resulting in a fundamental rationale for the factors governing the wavelength. Sections made through various segments of the buckle by using the FIB imaging system result in local changes in the shape and size of the buckles that provide further insight into the buckle propagation criterion.