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Based on present knowledge of mantle peridotites from the Ligurian Tethys ophiolites, this paper presents new ideas and a new model for passive rifting to ocean spreading in the slow–ultraslow rifting Europe–Adria realm. Relevant points include: (i) the positive feedback between deformation and melt percolation during passive magmatic rifting; (ii) the positive feedback between natural evidence and experimental data on the behaviour of the mantle lithosphere during passive rifting; (iii) the significance of hidden magmatism and the associated melt thermal advection; (iv) the role of the wedge-shaped weakened and softened axial zone; and (v) the evidence of a transition...

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