Netherlands journal of geosciences-geologie en mijnbouw vol:83 issue:1 pages:49-66
The literature suggests that the Asquempont fault, a supposedly important reverse fault forming the limit between the Lower to lower Middle Cambrian and the Ordovician in the Sennette valley, is poorly understood. Nevertheless, this fault is commonly equated with a pronounced NW-SE-trending aeromagnetic lineament, the Asquempont lineament, and both the geometry of the Asquempont lineament and the supposed reverse movement of the Asquempont fault are used to develop large-scale tectonic models of the Brabant Massif. New outcrop observations in the Asquempont area, the "type locality" of the Asquempont fault, in combination with outcrop and borehole data from surrounding areas, show that the Asquempont fault is not an important reverse fault, but instead represents a pre-cleavage, low-angle extensional detachment. This detachment formed between the Caradoc and the timing of folding and cleavage development and is not related to the aeromagnetic Asquempont lineament. The Asquempont area also contains several relatively important, steep, post-cleavage normal faults. Apparently, these occur in a WNW-ESE-trending zone between Asquempont and Fauquez, extending westward over Quenast towards Bierghes. This zone coincides with the eastern part of the WNW-ESE-trending Nieuwpoort-Asquempont fault zone, for which, on the basis of indirect observations, previously a strike-slip movement has been proposed. Our outcrop observations question this presumed strike-slip movement. The Asquempont fault may be related to the progressive unroofing of the core of the Brabant Massif from the Silurian onwards. Possibly, other low-angle extensional detachments similar to the Asquempont fault occur in other parts of the massif. Possible candidates are the paraconformity-like contacts depicted on the most recent geological map of the Brabant Massif.