Dr. Daniel P. Moriarty

Dr. Daniel P. Moriarty

  • NASA POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW
  • 301.614.6843
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 698
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIV OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK
  • Brief Bio

    Daniel Moriarty's research involves integrated remote sensing analyses of the Moon, focusing on the composition and evolution of large impact basins and unusual volcanic structures.  Dr. Moriarty's specific expertise focuses on mineralogical analyses of spectroscopic data using a suite of fully-customizable tools he developed for application to Moon Mineralogy Mapper images, but applicable to any laboratory, field, or orbital spectral data.  This analytical approach has been validated and adapted for use with spectra of Apollo soil and rock samples, HED meteorites, and pure minerals.  Dr. Moriarty is currently applying these techniques to unravel the interior evolution and geologic history of the Moon and other silicate bodies in the solar system and beyond.  

    Dr. Moriarty received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Geological Sciences from Brown University in 2016, as well as a B.Sc. in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009.  Following his Ph.D. work, he served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Community College of Rhode Island, teaching several courses related to geology and oceanography. 

    Dr. Moriarty is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Center, advised by Dr. Noah Petro. 

    Research Interests

    The South Pole - Aitken Basin

    Through several publications, Daniel has significantly contributed to the understanding of the vast South Pole - Aitken Basin on the lunar farside.  His work has clarified the compositional structure of the basin and identified several features possibly related to unusual volcanic activity, including the South Pole Aitken Compositional Anomaly (SPACA) and Mafic Mound. 

    Moon Mineralogy Mapper

    Dr. Moriarty has served as a Science Team member for the Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument.  He was involved in developing, validating, and implementing tools facilitating compositional analyses using M3 data, including the Parabolas and two-part Linear Continua (PLC) technique. These tools have been generalized for application to spectra acquired by field instruments, orbital remote sensing, and laboratory spectrometers.

    Instrument and Mission Development

    Dr. Moriarty has served as a team member, Co-I, and deputy PI for several missions and mission concept studies seeking to better our scientific understanding of fundamental questions relevant to solar system formation and evolution.  These missions range from unique orbital spectrometers to robotic sample return missions to astronaut-deployed sensors.

    Pyroxene Mineralogy and Spectroscopy

    Through integrated lunar sample and remote sensing analyses, Daniel has contributed to the understanding of pyroxene spectroscopy, demonstrating the widespread effects of complex mineralogical compositions on spectral properties. 

    Positions/Employment

    8/2017 - Present

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    NASA Postdoctoral Program, Goddard Space Flight Center

    Advisor:  Noah Petro

    9/2016 - 5/2017

    Full-Time Visiting Lecturer

    Community College of Rhode Island, Providence, RI

    Dr. Moriarty taught several lecture and laboratory courses (involving fieldwork) related to geology, oceanography, and Earth science.  

    5/2016 - 8/2016

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    Brown University, Providence, RI

    Advisor:  Carle Pieters

    Education

    • 2010-2016 Ph.D., Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI. Dissertation: A Compositional Assessment of the Enormous South Pole - Aitken Basin Grounded in Laboratory Spectroscopy of Pyroxene-Bearing Materials
    • 2010-2012 Sc.M., Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI.
    • 2005-2009 Sc.B., Astrophysics, Physics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
       

    Current Projects

    Illuminating the Lunar Mantle: A Brief Assessment of the State of Current Knowledge and Critical Exploration Targets for Advancing our Understanding

    The evolution of the lunar mantle is a complex process, the understanding of which is constantly evolving through advances in models of lunar magma ocean crystallization and mantle dynamics in concert with orbital observations and laboratory experiments.  The goal of this project is to publish a review of a range of these models spanning established landmarks and recent innovations, highlighting critical knowledge gaps and model predictions that are testable through current and future observations.  Specifically, we focus on predicted upper mantle lithologies that may be excavated and/or melted by basin-forming impacts.  We then present an overview of recent observations and their implications for mantle evolution in the context of these models.  To conclude the publication, we discuss ongoing and future missions that may continue to address the outstanding questions. 

    This project was commissioned by editors at Nature Communications after Dr. Moriarty's presentation at the 50th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.  The publication has been submitted to the journal and is now in review.  

    FASTER: Farside Ten-Site Sample Return

    The FAr Side Ten-site samplE Return (FASTER) project is funded by a NASA GSFC Internal Research and Development award for the development of a new mission architecture enabling low-cost, multiple sample returns from widely dispersed sites on the lunar surface, including the farside.  The primary innovations for FASTER will be the new high-performance GSFC thermal designs that allow cryogenic propellants to be stored passively, the application of electric pumps to a small (~3,000 N class) LH2/LO2 engine or engine set, and the combination of these features into a single reusable lunar lander capable of obtaining samples from ~10 dispersed locations anywhere on the Moon within the scope of a single mission.

    Placing LUNA mission samples into the context of recent orbital observations

    Recent NASA orbital missions and instruments  such as GRAIL, LRO, and M3 have provided a new view of the Moon that was unavailable in the 1970s when the LUNA sample return missions were carried out by the Soviet Union. These new missions provide valuable information for the region sampled by the LUNA missions and have enable new interpretations of the geology for this region. For example, GRAIL data for the Crisium basin indicate that this impact event excavated lunar mantle. The goal of this project is to place the LUNA samples that reside in both the US lunar facility at the Johnson Space Center and the Russian facility at the Vernadsky Institute into a modern context. 

    This project has been funded under an award from the NASA Lunar Data Analysis Program.  

    MMURPH: Mapping the Moon’s Ultraviolet Reflectance Properties and Hydration

    The near-ultraviolet is an important, but mostly overlooked, spectral range with diagnostic features relevant to fundamental questions regarding volatile states, space weathering, mineralogy, and regolith properties on airless bodies throughout the solar system.  This proposal describes the development of a new advanced compact, high efficiency NUV spectrometer covering a range of 200-340nm, that would enable high signal-to-noise detection of NUV features while reducing power, space and cost footprints.  The immediate science goal of this spectrometer would to produce the first global map of the Moon in this spectral range, an important data product that would complement previous lunar missions and address the key science questions described above.    

    MMURPH has received support through the NASA Science Mission Directorate PI Launchpad Program.  

    Consortium for the Advanced Analysis of Apollo Samples

    With great foresight, Apollo mission planners devised special sample containment systems that attempted to meticulously preserve fragile and transitory sample characteristics (e.g., solar wind volatiles, volatile coatings). Many of these “special” samples remain to this day sealed in their original Apollo containers. Since Apollo the capabilities of laboratory instrumentation for examining samples has increased, and since 2008 the importance of volatiles on the Moon has become increasingly recognized. Over the last 8 years, PI Shearer advocated in numerous forums (CAPTEM, NASA HQ, LPSC, LEAG, NVM2) an initiative to examine these “special” samples in a broad science-exploration consortium and proposed a systematic methodology for examining the Core Sample Vacuum Containers (CSVC) from Apollo 16 and 17. This project will systematically examine the CSVC sample 73001 and its companion 73002.  

    This project is funded under an award from the NASA Apollo Next Generation Sample Analysis Program.

    Geologic Mapping of the Lunar Quadrangle 24, Eastern South Pole-Aitken Basin; A Critical Resource For Future Exploration

    The goal of this project is to create a geologic map of the Eastern portion of the South Pole-Aitken Basin (LQ-24) on the Moon at a scale of 1:2M, following the mapping standards set by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) is the largest and oldest confirmed lunar basin and key questions remain regarding the age of the basin, its resurfacing history, and the origin of surfaces and various terrains within the basin. High-resolution image, spectroscopic, and other remote sensing data from recent lunar missions have significantly improved the ability to interpret the composition and origin of geologic units. Such data allow scientific investigations to address important questions about the formation and evolution of SPA. Our proposed mapping effort will integrate these datasets to construct the first geologic map of eastern SPA since the 1970s, which were constructed from relatively low-resolution Lunar Orbiter images. The primary deliverable of this effort will be a Scientific Investigations Map (SIM) published through the USGS, enabling dissemination throughout the scientific community and use in future scientific analysis.

    This project has been funded under an award from the NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools program.

    In Situ Geochronology for the Next Decade

    Geochronology, or determination of absolute ages for geologic events, underpins many inquiries into the formation and evolution of planets and our Solar System. The bombardment chronology inferred from lunar samples has played a significant role in the development of models of early Solar System and extrasolar planet dynamics, as well as the timing of volatile, organic, and siderophile element delivery. Absolute ages of ancient and recent magmatic products provide strong constraints on the dynamics of magma oceans and crustal formation, and the longevity and evolution of interior heat engines and distinct mantle/crustal source regions. Absolute dating also relates habitability markers to the timescale of evolution of life on Earth. Major advances in planetary science can thus be driven by absolute geochronology in the next decade, calibrating body-specific
    chronologies and creating a framework for understanding Solar System formation, the effects of impact bombardment on life, and the evolution of planets and interiors.  For this project, we will formulate and cost a medium- or flagship-class mission for Solar System chronology.  

    This project has been funded under an award from the NASA Planetary Mission Concept Study program.

    Evidence For a Stratified Lunar Mantle Preserved within the South Pole – Aitken Basin

    The evolution and compositional structure of the lunar mantle has been extensively modeled but poorly constrained by observations.  In this project, we identify and characterize mantle materials exposed by the Moon’s largest impact basin to better understand the upper mantle.  The South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) exhibits a broad, crescent-shaped enrichment in thorium abundance, an incompatible element predicted to be concentrated in the uppermost mantle by magma ocean crystallization.  We demonstrate that the distribution and stratigraphy of thorium-bearing materials within SPA are consistent with mantle-derived ejecta, as demonstrated through comparisons with basin formation models.  The most pristine exposures of thorium-bearing materials are confined to northwest SPA and exhibit a gabbronoritic mineralogy, consistent with uppermost mantle assemblages predicted by magma ocean models.  Considered alongside noritic SPA impact melt, the compositional patterns offer clear evidence for a stratified upper mantle whose silicate cumulates had not widely participated in large-scale gravitational overturn at the time of SPA formation.  This is the first definitive detection of incompatible-element-enriched mantle material on the lunar farside, suggesting that these elements were globally distributed in the magma ocean. 

    De-Mystifying Mafic Mound: Insights into Planetary Magmatism from an Unusual Volcanic Structure at the Center of the Moon's Largest Impact Basin

    At the center of the Moon’s largest impact basin (the >2000 km South Pole Aitken, or SPA) lies Mafic Mound, an unusual feature first recognized based on its elevated topography and distinctive mineralogy.  Recent analyses suggest that Mafic Mound is a volcanic construct directly related to the unique geophysical environment of SPA.  In this project, we are integrating lunar topography, gravity, and compositional data with volcanology modeling and terrestrial analog morphology to generate a model of Mafic Mound’s formation.  This will broaden our understanding of the diversity of magma-generating events throughout our solar system, and further emphasize the fundamental role that impacts play in solar system evolution. 

    Characterizing the Mineralogy, Extent, and Stratigraphy of the South Pole - Aitken Compositional Anomaly, an Unusual Magmatic Terrain within the Moon's Largest Impact Basin

    The vast South Pole–Aitken Basin (SPA) is central to several lunar science issues, including (1) basin chronology, (2) large impact processes, (3) lunar formation/thermal evolution, (4) lunar volcanism, and (5) the composition and structure of the lower crust/upper mantle. Recognizing the importance of these issues, the National Research Council has prioritized sample return from SPA in the two most recent planetary science decadal surveys.  
    Mineralogically, materials melted and excavated by SPA are dominated by Mg-pyroxenes. However, several recent analyses have identified a ~700 km zone of Ca+Fe-pyroxenes in central SPA (the “South Pole Aitken Compositional Anomaly,” or SPACA).  This poorly-understood region exhibits signs of resurfacing. However, the unusual composition persists to depths of ~5 km and is non-basaltic in composition. Several possible formation mechanisms are possible, including (1) impact melt differentiation, (2) non-mare volcanic emplacement, (3) intrusive volcanism, and (4) ejecta from post-SPA basins.  This project integrates remote sensing and sample data to constrain the nature and origin of SPACA.  

    Quantifying Differences Between Mare, Cryptomare, and Nonmare in the South Pole-Aitken Basin

    The South Pole-Aitken Basin (SPA) is a high-priority location for scientific studies and exploration. SPA does not appear to contain as much basaltic fill as large nearside lunar basins, but portions of SPA are relatively smooth, indicating basalt may lie under the observed surface materials in the form of cryptomare. The abundance of cryptomare deposits provides insight to the early thermal and volcanic history of the Moon and the variety of materials within the basin. This project to addresses the question "How much basaltic volcanism occurred in the South Pole Aitken Basin and what is the diversity of rock types within the basin?" The answer to this question is critically important for understanding the timing and duration of lunar volcanism and the diversity of rock types present on the lunar surface.

    Photometric and Spectral Parameter Maps of the Apollo Landing Sites

    Over the last five decades, integration of Apollo field observations with orbital data has provided new insights into the complex geologic history of the Moon. Photometric investigations of the lunar surface have been coupled with soil sample data to greatly enhance our understanding of the lunar regolith. The reflectance properties of the lunar regolith have been shown to be strongly related to compositional and physical properties. In this project, we are producing photometric and spectral parameter maps of the Apollo landing sites using Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) images, NAC Digital Terrain Models (DTMs), and Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) spectral data. These maps will be archived with the PDS Geosciences Node and can be used by future scientific studies to derive compositional and physical information about the lunar surface at exceptional spatial resolutions.

    Lunar Impact Melt Deposit Stratigraphy

    The timing and duration of early solar system bombardment has profound implications for the early evolution of not only the Moon, but for most other solar system worlds. The Moon is the solar system’s unique witness plate to the Earth-Moon system in which the geologic record from 3-4 Ga is preserved and exposed at and near the surface.  Dating impact melt deposits with a known basin provenance is the crucial lynchpin, though it is often obscured through impact gardening with other lithologies or buried in mare flood basalts. However, complex craters which superpose the impact melt deposit of larger basins uplift deep portions of the impact melt deposit in their central peaks.  This project focuses on identifying and characterizing craters within larger impact basins that expose basin impact melt sheet materials, and evaluating them as candidate future landing sites.  

    LEAPFROG: Lunar Explorer for Assessing Properties of Farside Regolith Geochemistry

    The Lunar Explorer for Assessing Properties of Farside RegOlith Geochemistry (LEAPFROG) is a robotic mission concept for sample return from multiple sites via hopping. The sample collector is inspired by the ongoing OSIRIS-REx mission that employs nitrogen gas bursts to mobilize regolith into sample containers (supplemented by fines collected by textured contact pads). The concept offers a number of enhanced capabilities that could not be achieved from a stationary lander or traditional rover. The most notable advantage is the capability to collect samples over a range of tens-to-thousands of km, rather than the meters-to-kilometers range of traditional rovers.

    Artemis Readiness

    This project involves evaluating possible landing sites for the upcoming Artemis mission, the first return of humans to the lunar surface since the Apollo Program.  

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Runyon, K. D., D. P. Moriarty, B. W. Denevi, et al. B. T. Greenhagen, G. Morgan, K. E. Young, B. A. Cohen, C. H. van de Bogert, H. Hiesinger, and L. M. Jozwiak. 2020. "Impact Melt Facies in the Moon's Crisium Basin: Identifying, Characterizing, and Future Radiogenic Dating." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, [10.1029/2019JE006024]

    Moriarty, D. P., R. N. Watkins, S. N. Valencia, et al. J. D. Kendall, A. J. Evans, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Evidence for a Stratified Lunar Mantle Preserved within the South Pole - Aitken Basin." Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets, (Submitted)

    Moriarty, D. P., D. P. Moriarty, S. N. Valencia, R. N. Watkins, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Illuminating the Lunar Mantle: A Brief Assessment of the State of Current Knowledge and Critical Exploration Targets for Advancing our Understanding." Nature Communications, (Submitted)

    Moriarty, D. P., and C. M. Pieters. 2018. "The Character of South Pole-Aitken Basin: Patterns of Surface and Subsurface Composition." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 123 (3): 729-747 [10.1002/2017je005364]

    Moriarty, D. P., and C. M. Pieters. 2016. "Complexities in pyroxene compositions derived from absorption band centers: Examples from Apollo samples, HED meteorites, synthetic pure pyroxenes, and remote sensing data." Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 51 (2): 207-234 [10.1111/maps.12588]

    Moriarty, D. P., and C. M. Pieters. 2015. "The nature and origin of Mafic Mound in the South Pole-Aitken Basin." Geophysical Research Letters, 42 (19): 7907-7915 [10.1002/2015gl065718]

    Pieters, C. M., K. D. Hanna, L. Cheek, et al. D. Dhingra, T. Prissel, C. Jackson, D. Moriarty, S. Parman, and L. A. Taylor. 2014. "The distribution of Mg-spinel across the Moon and constraints on crustal origin." American Mineralogist, 99 (10): 1893-1910 [10.2138/am-2014-4776]

    Moriarty, D. P., C. M. Pieters, and P. J. Isaacson. 2013. "Compositional heterogeneity of central peaks within the South Pole-Aitken Basin." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 118 (11): 2310-2322 [10.1002/2013je004376]

    Cheek, L. C., C. M. Pieters, J. W. Boardman, et al. R. N. Clark, J. P. Combe, J. W. Head, P. J. Isaacson, T. B. McCord, D. Moriarty, J. W. Nettles, N. E. Petro, J. M. Sunshine, and L. A. Taylor. 2011. "Goldschmidt crater and the Moon's north polar region: Results from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)." Journal of Geophysical Research, 116: [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2010JE003702]

    Non-Refereed

    Cohen, B., N. Petro, S. Lawrence, et al. S. Clegg, B. Denevi, M. Dyar, S. Elardo, D. Grinspoon, H. Hiesinger, Y. Liu, and D. Moriarty. 2018. "Curie: Constraining Solar System Bombardment Using In Situ Radiometric Dating." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 49:

    Moriarty, D., and C. Pieters. 2016. "Impact Melt and Magmatic Processes in Central South Pole---Aitken Basin." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47: 1735.

    Moriarty, D., and C. Pieters. 2016. "South Pole---Aitken Basin as a Probe to the Lunar Interior." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47: 1763.

    Moriarty, D., and C. Pieters. 2014. "LSCC Samples as Ground Truth: Using Spectral Parameters Developed for M3 Data to Assess Composition and Maturity." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 45: 2532.

    Pieters, C., D. Moriarty, and I. Garrick-Bethell. 2014. "Atypical regolith processes hold the key to enigmatic lunar swirls." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 45: 1408.

    Moriarty, D., P. Isaacson, and C. Pieters. 2013. "NW-Central South Pole-Aitken: Compositional Diversity, Geologic Context, and Implications for Basin Evolution." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 44: 3039.

    Allen, C. C., K. L. DonaldsonHanna, C. M. Pieters, et al. D. P. Moriarty, B. T. Greenhagen, K. A. Bennett, G. Y. Kramer, and D. A. Paige. 2013. "Pyroclastic Deposits in Floor-Fractured Craters: A Unique Style or Lunar Basaltic Volcanism?" LPSC

    Pieters, C., K. Donaldson Hanna, L. Cheek, et al. D. Dhingra, D. Moriarty, S. Parman, C. Jackson, and T. Prissel. 2013. "Compositional Evolution of the early lunar crust: Observed diverse mineralogy of the upper and lower crust." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 44: 2545.

    Moriarty, D., C. Pieters, N. Petro, and P. Isaacson. 2012. "Compositional heterogeneity within lunar central peaks." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 43:

    Donaldson Hanna, K., C. Pieters, W. Patterson, et al. T. Hiroi, D. Moriarty, M. Wyatt, and C. Thompson. 2012. "Asteroid and lunar environment chamber (ALEC): Simulated asteroid and lunar environments for measuring analog materials." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 43:

    Pieters, C., P. Isaacson, L. Taylor, et al. J. Head, D. Dhingra, R. Klima, N. Petro, D. Moriarty, R. Green, and J. Boardman. 2011. "Compositional structure of the lower lunar crust: Initial constraints from basin mineralogy." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 42: 2173.

    Isaacson, P., J. Nettles, S. Besse, et al. J. Boardman, L. Cheek, R. Clark, D. Dhingra, K. Donaldson Hanna, J. Head, R. Klima, and D. Moriarty. 2011. "A mineralogical survey of lunar crater central peaks with moon mineralogy mapper data: First results." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 42: 2556.

    Moriarty, D., C. Pieters, J. Nettles, et al. P. Isaacson, L. Cheek, J. Head, S. Tompkins, and N. Petro. 2011. "Finsen and Alder: A compositional study of lunar central peak craters in the South Pole-Aitken basin." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 42: 2564.

    Moriarty, D., C. Hibbitts, C. Lisse, et al. M. Dyar, G. Harlow, D. Ebel, and R. Peale. 2010. "Near-far IR spectra of sulfide minerals relevant to comets." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 41: 2447.

    Hibbitts, C., M. Dyar, T. Orlando, et al. G. Grieves, D. Moriarty, M. Poston, and A. Johnson. 2010. "Thermal stability of water and hydroxyl on airless bodies." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 41: 2417.

    Professional Service

    2016 NASA SSO Review Panel, Executive Secretary

    2014-2016 Brown University DEEPS Diversity Working Group Member

    2014 SSERVI LunGradCon Organizing Committee

    2010-2012 Moon Mineralogy Mapper Science Team Member

    Daniel has also served as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals, NASA review panels, and internal GSFC proposal reviews.  

    Teaching Experience

    Daniel Moriarty has held a full-time Visiting Lecturer Position at the Community College of Rhode Island, an educational institution that provides undergraduate-level classes to both traditional and non-traditional students.  At CCRI, he taught a breadth of undergraduate-level courses in geology, oceanography, and Earth sciences.  These courses included lectures and laboratory components, as well as short field trips. This was an intensive teaching experience, with a heavy course load.  

    Dr. Moriarty has served as a teaching assistant at Brown University for several similar classes.  He has also run tutorials for research peers on using Moon Mineralogy Mapper data.  

    Grants

    09/30/2019 - 09/30/2020 NASA GSFC Internal Research and Developement, NASA GSFC, NASA NRA #: NASA GSFC IRAD

    FASTER: Farside Ten-Site Sample Return

    ; Deputy PI, Science Team Member
    10/01/2018 - 09/30/2021 Lunar Data Analysis, NASA, NASA NRA #: NNH17ZDA001N-LDAP

    Placing LUNA mission samples into the context of recent orbital observations

    ; Co-I ; 0.18 FTE
    04/01/2017 - 03/31/2020 Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools, NASA, NASA NRA #: NNH16ZDA001N-PDART

    Geologic Mapping of the Lunar Quadrangle 24, Eastern South Pole-Aitken Basin; A Critical Resource For Future Exploration

    ; Co-I ; 0.36 FTE

    Brief Bio

    Daniel Moriarty's research involves integrated remote sensing analyses of the Moon, focusing on the composition and evolution of large impact basins and unusual volcanic structures.  Dr. Moriarty's specific expertise focuses on mineralogical analyses of spectroscopic data using a suite of fully-customizable tools he developed for application to Moon Mineralogy Mapper images, but applicable to any laboratory, field, or orbital spectral data.  This analytical approach has been validated and adapted for use with spectra of Apollo soil and rock samples, HED meteorites, and pure minerals.  Dr. Moriarty is currently applying these techniques to unravel the interior evolution and geologic history of the Moon and other silicate bodies in the solar system and beyond.  

    Dr. Moriarty received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Geological Sciences from Brown University in 2016, as well as a B.Sc. in Astronomy and Physics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2009.  Following his Ph.D. work, he served as a Visiting Lecturer at the Community College of Rhode Island, teaching several courses related to geology and oceanography. 

    Dr. Moriarty is currently a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow at the Goddard Space Flight Center, advised by Dr. Noah Petro. 

    Selected Publications

    Refereed

    Runyon, K. D., D. P. Moriarty, B. W. Denevi, et al. B. T. Greenhagen, G. Morgan, K. E. Young, B. A. Cohen, C. H. van de Bogert, H. Hiesinger, and L. M. Jozwiak. 2020. "Impact Melt Facies in the Moon's Crisium Basin: Identifying, Characterizing, and Future Radiogenic Dating." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets [10.1029/2019JE006024]

    Moriarty, D. P., R. N. Watkins, S. N. Valencia, et al. J. D. Kendall, A. J. Evans, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Evidence for a Stratified Lunar Mantle Preserved within the South Pole - Aitken Basin." Journal of Geophysical Research - Planets (Submitted)

    Moriarty, D. P., D. P. Moriarty, S. N. Valencia, R. N. Watkins, and N. E. Petro. 2020. "Illuminating the Lunar Mantle: A Brief Assessment of the State of Current Knowledge and Critical Exploration Targets for Advancing our Understanding." Nature Communications (Submitted)

    Moriarty, D. P., and C. M. Pieters. 2018. "The Character of South Pole-Aitken Basin: Patterns of Surface and Subsurface Composition." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 123 (3): 729-747 [10.1002/2017je005364]

    Moriarty, D. P., and C. M. Pieters. 2016. "Complexities in pyroxene compositions derived from absorption band centers: Examples from Apollo samples, HED meteorites, synthetic pure pyroxenes, and remote sensing data." Meteoritics & Planetary Science 51 (2): 207-234 [10.1111/maps.12588]

    Moriarty, D. P., and C. M. Pieters. 2015. "The nature and origin of Mafic Mound in the South Pole-Aitken Basin." Geophysical Research Letters 42 (19): 7907-7915 [10.1002/2015gl065718]

    Pieters, C. M., K. D. Hanna, L. Cheek, et al. D. Dhingra, T. Prissel, C. Jackson, D. Moriarty, S. Parman, and L. A. Taylor. 2014. "The distribution of Mg-spinel across the Moon and constraints on crustal origin." American Mineralogist 99 (10): 1893-1910 [10.2138/am-2014-4776]

    Moriarty, D. P., C. M. Pieters, and P. J. Isaacson. 2013. "Compositional heterogeneity of central peaks within the South Pole-Aitken Basin." Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets 118 (11): 2310-2322 [10.1002/2013je004376]

    Cheek, L. C., C. M. Pieters, J. W. Boardman, et al. R. N. Clark, J. P. Combe, J. W. Head, P. J. Isaacson, T. B. McCord, D. Moriarty, J. W. Nettles, N. E. Petro, J. M. Sunshine, and L. A. Taylor. 2011. "Goldschmidt crater and the Moon's north polar region: Results from the Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3)." Journal of Geophysical Research 116 [Full Text (Link)] [10.1029/2010JE003702]

    Non-Refereed

    Cohen, B., N. Petro, S. Lawrence, et al. S. Clegg, B. Denevi, M. Dyar, S. Elardo, D. Grinspoon, H. Hiesinger, Y. Liu, and D. Moriarty. 2018. "Curie: Constraining Solar System Bombardment Using In Situ Radiometric Dating." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 49

    Moriarty, D., and C. Pieters. 2016. "Impact Melt and Magmatic Processes in Central South Pole---Aitken Basin." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47 1735

    Moriarty, D., and C. Pieters. 2016. "South Pole---Aitken Basin as a Probe to the Lunar Interior." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 47 1763

    Moriarty, D., and C. Pieters. 2014. "LSCC Samples as Ground Truth: Using Spectral Parameters Developed for M3 Data to Assess Composition and Maturity." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 45 2532

    Pieters, C., D. Moriarty, and I. Garrick-Bethell. 2014. "Atypical regolith processes hold the key to enigmatic lunar swirls." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 45 1408

    Moriarty, D., P. Isaacson, and C. Pieters. 2013. "NW-Central South Pole-Aitken: Compositional Diversity, Geologic Context, and Implications for Basin Evolution." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 44 3039

    Allen, C. C., K. L. DonaldsonHanna, C. M. Pieters, et al. D. P. Moriarty, B. T. Greenhagen, K. A. Bennett, G. Y. Kramer, and D. A. Paige. 2013. "Pyroclastic Deposits in Floor-Fractured Craters: A Unique Style or Lunar Basaltic Volcanism?" LPSC

    Pieters, C., K. Donaldson Hanna, L. Cheek, et al. D. Dhingra, D. Moriarty, S. Parman, C. Jackson, and T. Prissel. 2013. "Compositional Evolution of the early lunar crust: Observed diverse mineralogy of the upper and lower crust." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 44 2545

    Moriarty, D., C. Pieters, N. Petro, and P. Isaacson. 2012. "Compositional heterogeneity within lunar central peaks." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 43

    Donaldson Hanna, K., C. Pieters, W. Patterson, et al. T. Hiroi, D. Moriarty, M. Wyatt, and C. Thompson. 2012. "Asteroid and lunar environment chamber (ALEC): Simulated asteroid and lunar environments for measuring analog materials." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 43

    Pieters, C., P. Isaacson, L. Taylor, et al. J. Head, D. Dhingra, R. Klima, N. Petro, D. Moriarty, R. Green, and J. Boardman. 2011. "Compositional structure of the lower lunar crust: Initial constraints from basin mineralogy." Lunar and Planetary Science Conference 42 2173

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