North Pacific diatom zones XXIII through IX of Schrader are recognizable in the middle Miocene to lower Pliocene stratigraphic section exposed around Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach, California. Correlation with DSDP Site 173 and other stratigraphic sections in California allows the selection of diatom datums that are the most reliable for long-distance correlation. Individual diatom datums are proposed as markers for North Pacific diatom zones XXIII through IX. Correlations with DSDP Site 173 reveal a hiatus in the lower part of Core 15 that corresponds with a distinct lithologic and floral change in the core. Preliminary silicoflagellate data for the Upper Newport Bay stratigraphic section supports the diatom correlations. Correlation with calcareous nannofossil, radiolarian, and silicoflagellate zones at Upper Newport Bay and at DSDP Site 173 suggests that the boundary between North Pacific diatom zones XVII and XVI approximates the middle Miocene/upper Miocene boundary. The Miocene/Pliocene boundary is estimated to be in North Pacific diatom zone X. One new stratigraphically useful diatom species is described, Lithodesmium reynoldsii. ?? 1976.