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Clive Neal

Clive R. Neal

Email: neal.1@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-8328

Office: 106D Cushing Hall


Ph.D, University of Leeds, United Kingdom, 1986

B.S., Geology, University of Leicester, United Kingdom, 1982


Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Tennessee, Knoxville - 1986-1990
Assistant Professor. University of Notre Dame. 1990-1996
Associate Professor. University of Notre Dame. 1996-2007
Professor. University of Notre Dame - 2007-Present

Recent Papers

Harper L.D., Neal C.R., Poynter J., Schalkwyk J.D., and Wingo D.R. (2016) Life support for a low-cost lunar settlement. No showstoppers. New Space 4, 40-49.

Fagan A.L. and Neal C.R. (2016) A new lunar high-Ti basalt type defined from clasts in Apollo 16 breccia 60639. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 173, 352-372.

Hui H., Peslier A.H., Lee C-Y., Rudnick R., Chan Y., Simonetti A., Zhang Y., and Neal C.R. (2015) Interaction of a dry plume with cratonic lithosphere evidenced from water and trace element distributions in peridotites from Labait volcano, Tanzania. Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems, 16, doi:10.1002/2015GC005779.

Shearer C.K., Burger P.V., Bell A.S., Guan Y., and Neal C.R. (2015) Exploring the Moon’s surface for remnants of the lunar mantle 1. Dunite xenoliths in mare basalts. A crustal or mantle origin? Meteoritics and Planetary Science 50, 1449-1467.

Donohue P.H. and Neal C.R. (2015) Quantitative textural analysis of ilmenite in Apollo 17 high- titanium mare basalts. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 149, 115-130.

Neal C.R., Donohue P.H., Fagan A.L., O’Sullivan K.M., Oshrin J., and Hui H. (2015) Distinguishing between pristine mare basalts and lunar impact melts: A non-destructive method using quantitative petrography. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 148, 62-80.

Neal C.R. and Ping J. (2014) Evidence for recent lunar tectonic, volcanic, and interior activity. J. Deep Space Exploration 1, 164-174.

Neal C.R., Schmidt G.K., Ehrenfreund P., and Carpenter J.D. (2014) Developing the Global Exploration Roadmap: An Example using the Humans to the Lunar Surface Theme. J. Space Policy 30,156-162.

Elardo S Shearer C.K., Fagan A.L., Borg L.E., Gaffney A.M., Burger P.V., Neal C.R., and McCubbin F.M. (2014) The origin of young mare basalts inferred from lunar meteorites NWA 4734, NWA 032, and LAP 02205. Meteoritics & Planet. Sci. 49, 261-291.

Hui H., Neal C.R., Shih C-Y., and Nyquist L.E. (2013) Petrogenetic association of the oldest lunar basalts: Combined Rb-Sr isotopic and trace element constraints. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 373, 150-159.

Fagan A.L., Neal C.R., Simonetti A., Donohue P.H., and O’Sullivan K.M. (2013) Distinguishing between Apollo 14 impact melt and pristine basalt samples by geochemical and textural analyses of olivine. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 106, 429-445.

Hui H., Peslier A.H., Zhang Y., and Neal C.R. (2013) Water in lunar anorthosites and evidence for a wet early Moon. Nature Geoscience 6, 177-180.

Mimoun D., Wieczorek M.A., Alkalai L., Banerdt W.B., Baratoux D., Bougert J-L., Bouley S., Cecconi B., Falcke H., Flohrer J., Garcia R.F., Grimm R., Grott M., Gurvits L., Jaumann R., Johnson C.L., Knapmeyer M., Kobayashi N., Konovalenko A., Lawrence D., Le Feuvre M., Lognonné  P., Neal C., Oberst J., Olsen N., Röttgering H., Spohn T., Vennerstrom S., Woan G., and Zarka P. (2012) Farside explorer: Unique science from a mission to the farside of the Moon. Exp. Astronomy 33, 529-585.

Riches A.J.V., Day J.M.D., Walker R.J., Simonetti A., Liu Y., Neal C.R., and Taylor L.A. (2012) Rhenium-Osmium isotope and highly-siderophile-element  abundance systematics of angrite meteorites. Earth Plant. Sci. Lett. 353-354, 208-218.

Donohue P.H., Simonetti A., and Neal C.R. (2012) Chemical characterization of possible natural ilmenite material. Geostandards & Geoanalytical Research 36, 61-73. Article first published online : 12SEP 2011, DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-908X.2011.00124.x.

Ehrenfreund P., McKay C., Rummel J.D., Foing B.H., Neal C.R., Masson-Zwaan T., Ansdell M., Peter N., Zarnecki J., Mackwell S., Antionetta Perino M., Billings L., Mankins J., and Race M. (2012) Toward a global space exploration program: A stepping stone approach. Advances in Space Research 49, 2-48.

Hui H., Oshrin J., and Neal C.R. (2011) Investigation into the Petrogenesis of Apollo 14 High-Alumina Basaltic Melts through Textural and Compositional Analyses. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 75, 6439–6460.

Simonetti A. and Neal C.R. (2010) In-situ chemical, U–Pb dating, and Hf isotope investigation of megacrystic zircons, Malaita (Solomon Islands): Evidence for multi-stage alkaline magmatic activity beneath the Ontong Java Plateau. Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 295, 251-261.

Summary of Activities/Interests

CRNealPicProfessor Neal's petrologic research uses a technique of crystal stratigraphy to explore lunar
(mare) basalt and impact melt evolution. Crystal stratigraphy involves using quantitative
petrography (in the form of crystal size distributions or CSDs) to evaluate the size distributions
of different phases. This can identify different crystal populations that can give information
on the samples' petrogenetic history. The CSDs guide the analytical phase of the investigation
to different populations. Individual crystals are then analyzed by electron microprobe for major
and minor elements, and by Laser Ablation ICP-MS for trace elements. Zoned crystals contain
a wealth of information regarding sample history that the crystal stratigraphy approach can unlock.

Lunar Science Professor Neal's lunar research consists of two major thrusts: 1) Lunar Petrology;
and 2) Lunar Geophysics.

1) Lunar Petrology: Research in this area is examination of melt rocks, both natural basalts and impact melts. Current projects include investigation of the petrogenesis of Apollo 12 and Apollo 17 mare basalts as well as the Apollo 14 and Apollo 16 impact melts, both using the crystal stratigraphy approach. Melt inclusions are also being analyzed to explore the petrogenesis of the Apollo 12 basalts.

2) Lunar Geophysics Professor Neal is the Principal Investigator on a proposal to NASA to send two landers to the lunar surface, each carrying a sophisticated geophysical instrument package. The science rationale for this mission is that we know very little about the interior of the moon, despite five seismometers being deployed on the lunar surface by Apollo; the small footprint of the Apollo network meant our knowledge of the deep interior would be limited. Each lander on the "Lunette" mission will contain a broad band and short period seismometer, two heat flow probes, an electromagnetic sounding experiment, and a laser retroreflector. The proposed mission is an international collaboration involving the USA, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. The nominal mission will last four years.

Lunar Science Images
CRNeal Lunar LabCRNeal Lunar Lab Rock CabinetCRNeal  Landing Sites
CRNeal Rock Pile CRNeal Basalt CRNeal Lunar Image

Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs) : LIPs represent vast outpourings of lava at an unprecedented rate that is not known at present. Models have been constructed to explain such magmatic events that include a surfacing plume head, an upper mantle origin, and origin through meteorid impact. Distinguishing among these different hypotheses requires careful investigation. My research uses fieldwork and scientific ocean drilling to investigate the following oceanic LIPs: Kerguelen Plateau, Ontong Java Plateau, and the Hawaiian-Emperor Seamounts. One of the most important aspects of LIP origin is understanding the exact timing of formation. Do they form in one big pulse or several smaller ones? How long did this magmatism continue? A new avenue of research is to examine syn-LIP sediments to identify the onset and cessation of volcanism. [Photos 5, 8]

Large Igneous Provinces (LIPs)

Mantle Petrology: Understanding the composition of and processes occurring in the mantle allow a much better understanding of how magmas are generated and how the mantle has evolved over time. Examinations of peridotite xenoliths and mantle-derived megacrysts are the targets for this research. An integrated approach to investigating mantle petrology involves major and trace elements in conjunction with isotope determinations. [Photos 2, 12, 13]

Mantle Petrology


No Longer Science Fiction: Establishing a Base on the Moon

October 9, 2017

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences Professor Clive Neal will attend the annual meeting of the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group to discuss the establishment of a permanent Moon base.

China's Delayed Moon Mission Sparks Debate over Lunar Samples

September 12, 2017

The Chang’e 5 spacecraft could return invaluable new moon rocks to Earth, but who will get to study them?

Fighting to Explore the Moon

September 23, 2016

Researchers like Notre Dame's Clive Neal are beginning to piece together how the rocks were formed, how the Moon has evolved, and how the resources they’re discovering, like oxygen, water, regolith and metals, could be used to support a human return to the Moon and enable exploration far beyond.