Spurr, Josiah Edward

Spurr, Josiah Edward


Born Oct. 1, 1870, in Gloucester, Mass.; died Jan. 12,1950, in Orlando, Fla. American geologist.

Spurr graduated from Harvard University in 1893. In the years 1902–06 he worked for the United States Geological Survey, and from 1906 to 1917, for various mining companies. His main works deal with the theory of ore formation. He advanced the hypothesis that endogenic ore deposits are formed by the intrusion of ore magmas. He also described the zoning of ore deposits associated with basic and acidic magmas and determined the conditions under which ore deposits in coastal ridges are formed by the flow of magmatic material under the continent from oceanic regions. In addition, Spurr did research on lunar topography.

Mount Spurr in southwestern Alaska and the silicate mineral spurrite, Ca5[SiO4]2CO3, were named after him. Spurr was a member of various American geographical and geological societies.


The Ore Magmas: A Series of Essays on Ore Deposition, vols. 1–2. New York, 1923.
Geology Applied to Selenology, vols. 1–1. Lancaster, Pa., 1945–49.