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1 An increasingly accepted hypothesis according to which the lower part of the continental or oceanic lithosphere becomes sufficiently dense, usually by cooling and mineralogical phase changes, that it separates from the upper lithosphere and descends into the mantle, being replaced by warmer, less dense mantle rock. These physical and chemical changes introduce a new tectonic regime.

2 See also a-subduction.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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