A Caltech Library Service

An investigation of the geological occurrence and use of titanium with special reference to the San Gabriel titanium deposits, California


Orr, James McPhail (1938) An investigation of the geological occurrence and use of titanium with special reference to the San Gabriel titanium deposits, California. Master's thesis, California Institute of Technology.


It has been customary to class titanium with the rare elements, but in reality it is one of the most abundant of metals. Geochemists have estimated that it constitutes 0.44 per cent of the solid crust of the earth and ranks ninth in relative abundance of the ninety odd elements found there. It is more abundant than the common elements carbon, phosphorous, sulphur, and manganese, and exceeds the total of the common metals, lead, zinc, and copper. Titanium is also one of the most widely distributed of the elements.

Why then, has it not come into more common use during the one hundred and forty years since discovery? There are two principal reasons: (1) Its great chemical tenacity which made it very hard to treat. (2) The fact that its minerals have shown no characteristics that make their usefulness readily apparent. In a narrow sense, it is true that titanium is seldom met with in nature in easily recognizable forms or in concentrations that readily attract attention; yet there are ample supplies available in commercial deposits.

For these reasons titanium compounds as articles of commerce were almost unknown until recent years. With the intensified interest now manifest in the utilization of the so-called rare metals, titanium is rapidly increasing in importance. Its rapid growth is well illustrated by the titanium pigment industry which has increased its consumption of ilmenite (FeO-TiO_2) from 2,000 to 3,000 tons to over 100,000 tons a year in less than a decade. As technical improvements continue to remove its economic handicaps it is felt that titanium, because of its wide-spread distribution and abundance, will occupy an important place in the mineral industry.

The purpose of this thesis is: (1) to give a general outline of the titanium industry, (2) to present the results of a detailed study made of the ores of titanium deposit in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles, California.

Item Type:Thesis (Master's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Geology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Fraser, Horace J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1938
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:03292010-080341272
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5633
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:15 Apr 2010 19:01
Last Modified:03 Nov 2017 16:27

Thesis Files

PDF - Final Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Plate 1) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

PDF (Plate 2) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page