The Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday approved the nomination of Chief Judge Harold H. Greene of the D.C. Superior Court to a seat on the U.S. District Court here.

Greene's nomination, announced by President Carter last March, now goes to the Senate for confirmation.

Greene, 55, has been chief judge of the Superior Court for 12 years, during which time he guided the local court through a series of overdue reforms and played a key role in the planning of the new $40 million District of Columbia Courthouse, which was formally dedicated last week.

In anticipation of Green's move to the U.S. court, the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission - which will designate his successor - has interviewed four current Superior Court judges for the job, sources said.

Those candidates are Judges James A. Belson, Joyce Hens Green, H. Carl Moultrie I and Tim Murphy, sources said. Courthouse observers have speculated that Belson and Moultrie, both of whom sat on the local bench for close to 10 years, are the leading contenders for the chief judgeship, although all four judges are known to have supporters on the nomination commission.

In addition to Greene's nomination, the judiciary committee also sent to the Senate President Carter's nomination of Deputy Solicitor General Daniel M. Friedman to be chief judge on the U.S. Court of Claims.