Multichannel seismic transects reveal an ∼2-km-thick, ∼50 × 100 km evaporite body under the shelf on the eastern margin of the Guaymas Basin, central Gulf of California (Mexico). These thick newly discovered evaporites appear to be correlated with well-known gypsum beds near Santa Rosalía to the northwest, on the Baja California peninsula. Closing the Gulf of California along kinematic flow lines suggests that the thin, scattered, ca. 7 Ma Santa Rosalía gypsum beds formed on the fringe of the much thicker evaporite deposit. This correlation, and the large volume of the Guaymas evaporates, implies that substantial marine incursions and subsequent evaporite deposition occurred during the Late Miocene and prior to lithospheric rupture. Furthermore, the shape of the Guaymas evaporite is indicative of a transtensional basin, suggesting that oblique extension existed in the central Gulf of California ca. 7 Ma.

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