Dr. Briony Horgan - Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - Purdue University
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Dr. Briony Horgan

Dr. Briony Horgan

Assistant Professor 
Curriculum Vitae / Google Scholar


Briony Horgan is an Assistant Professor of planetary science. She uses data from NASA’s satellites and rovers to understand the geologic history of the Moon and Mars, supported by lab and field work at analog sites back on Earth. Her expertise is identifying minerals using visible and infrared spectroscopy, and using those minerals to investigate planetary surface processes, and to identify habitable ancient environments on Mars. Prof. Horgan is a Co-I on the Mastcam-Z camera system for NASA’s Mars2020 rover mission.


Education and Appointments:

2014-present   Assistant Professor, Purdue University

2013                 Faculty Research Associate, Arizona State University

2010-2012      Exploration Postdoctoral Fellow, Arizona State University

                          Advisor: Prof. Phil Christensen

2005-2010      Ph.D., Cornell University, Astronomy and Space Sciences

                          Advisor: Prof. Jim Bell

2001-2005      B.S., Oregon State University, Physics, summa cum laude.


Current Projects:

- Field and lab studies of glacial weathering processes

- Using mineralogy to constrain past climates and environments at Mawrth Vallis, Mars

- Field and lab studies of soil mineralogy as a function of environmental conditions

- The geologic and aqueous history of the north polar region of Mars

- Mapping the global distribution of impact and volcanic glass on Mars

- Assessing the global composition of dune fields on Mars

- Landing site selection for the Mars2020 rover mission


Student Projects:

- Sub-glacial volcanism on ancient Mars – Sheridan Ackiss (grad)

- Spectral signatures of glacial weathering on Mars – Noel Scudder (grad)

- Global maps of igneous minerals on the Moon – Marie McBride (grad)

- Mapping modes of slipface failure on martian dunes – Ellen Czaplinski  (undergrad)


Publications - Google Scholar Page for a complete list of publications

(12) Volcanic terrain and the possible periglacial formation of “excess ice” at the mid-latitudes of Utopia Planitia, Mars.
R. Soare, B. Horgan, S. Conway, C. Souness, M. El Maarry (2015), Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 423, 182–192, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2015.04.033. 


(11) Near-infrared spectroscopy of lacustrine sediments in the Great Salt Lake Desert: An analog study for Martian paleolake basins.
K. Lynch*, B. Horgan, J. Munakata Marr, J. Hanley, and 5 others (2015), J. Geophys. Res., 120, doi:10.1002/2014JE004707.


(10) Detection of ferric and ferrous sulfate minerals in the northern Mawrth Vallis region of Mars: Evidence of acid sulfate alteration.
W. Farrand, T. Glotch, B. Horgan (2014), Icarus, 241, 346-357, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.07.003.


(9) Near-infrared spectra of ferrous mineral mixtures and methods for their identification in planetary surface spectra.
B. Horgan, E. Cloutis, P. Mann, J. Bell (2014), Icarus, 234, 132-154, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2014.02.031.


(8) A hypersaline spring analogue in Manitoba, Canada for potential ancient spring deposits on Mars.
G. Berard*, D. Applin, E. Cloutis, J. Stromberg*, R. Sharma, P. Mann, S. Grasby, R. Bezys, B. Horgan, and 7 others (2013). Icarus, 224, 399–412, doi:10.1016/ j.icarus.2012.12.024.


(7) Reflectance spectra diversity of silica-rich materials: Sensitivity to environment and implications for detections on Mars.
M. Rice, E. Cloutis, J. Bell, D. Bish, B. Horgan, S. Mertzman, M. Craig, R. Renaut, B. Gautason, B. Mountain (2013). Icarus, 223, 499-533, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.09.021.


(6) Identification and mapping of dikes with relatively primitive compositions in Thaumasia Planum on Mars: Implications for Tharsis volcanism and the opening of Valles Marineris.
J. Huang*, C. Edwards, B. Horgan, P. Christensen, M. Kraft, L. Xiao (2012), Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L17201, doi:10.1029/2012GL052523.


(5) Widespread weathered glass on the surface of Mars.
B. Horgan, J. Bell (2012), Geology, 40, 391-394, doi: 10.1130/G32755.1.


(4) Seasonally active slipface avalanches in the north polar sand sea of Mars: Evidence for a wind-related origin.
B. Horgan, J. Bell (2012). Geophysical Research Letters, 39, L09201, doi:10.1029/2012GL051329.


(3) Distribution of hydrated minerals in the north polar region of Mars.
B. Horgan, J. Bell, E. Noe Dobrea, E. Cloutis, D. Bailey, M. Craig, L. Roach, J. Mustard (2009).   Journal of Geophysical Research, 114, E01005, doi:10.1029/2008JE003187.


(2) A 31 pixel flared 100-GHz high-gain scalar corrugated nonbonded platelet antenna array.
M. Kangas, M. Ansmann, B. Horgan, N. Lemaster, R. Leonardi, A. Levy, P. Lubin, J. Marvil, P. McCreary, T. Villela (2005). IEEE: Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 4, 245-248.

(1) A 100-GHz High-gain Tilted Corrugated Nonbonded Platelet Antenna.
M. Kangas, M. Ansmann,  K. Copsey, B. Horgan, R. Leonardi, P. Lubin, T. Villela (2005).  , IEEE: Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters, 4, 304 – 307.

*indicates student authors


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