The Erro-Tobbio peridotite (western Alps) is a slice of subcontinental mantle that underwent pre-Jurassic passive rifting, followed by sea-floor hydration and Cretaceous (Alpine) subduction. Analysis of its extension- and subduction-related structures and metamorphism suggest the dip below the Adria plate of both the extensional detachments and the subduction plane. High-pressure boudinage structures of rigid metarodingite within ductile antigorite serpentinite prove that antigorite survived subduction and remained stable at eclogite facies conditions. Subduction of serpentinized peridotites from ophiolite slabs is here considered the most effective mechanism of bringing water to great depth within the mantle.

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