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In the Western Alps, two tectonic units have unquestionably experienced ultrahigh pressure metamorphism (UHPM): the continental Brossasco-Isasca Unit of the southern Dora-Maira Massif, in which coesite was first reported by Chopin (1984), and the ocean-derived Lago di Cignana Unit of the Piemonte zone, in which coesite was first reported by Reinecke (1991). In both units the UHPM recrystallisation, acquired during the early stages of the Alpine orogeny, is largely obliterated by a late Alpine greenschist facies retrogression, more pervasive in the felsic lithologies.

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