A paleomagnetic and K-Ar dating study of 44 upper Miocene and Pliocene volcanic units from the western United States suggests that the frequency of reversals of the earth's magnetic field during Pliocene time may have been comparable with that of the last 3.6 m.y. Although the data are too limited to permit the formal naming of any new polarity epochs or events, four polarity transitions have been identified: the W10 R/N boundary at 3.7 ?? 0.1 m.y., the A12 N/R boundary at 4.9 ?? 0.1 m.y., the W32 N/R boundary at 9.0 ?? 0.2m.y., and the W36 R/N boundary at 10.8 ?? 0.3 - 1.0 m.y. The loss of absolute resolution of K-Ar dating in older rocks indicates that the use of well defined stratigraphic successions to identify and date polarity transitions will be important in the study of Pliocene and older reversals. ?? 1967.