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Humboldt Sink
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Humboldt Sink

The Humboldt Sink is an intermittent dry lake bed, approximately 11 mi (18 km) and 4 mi (6 km) across, in northwestern Nevada in the United States. The body of water in the sink is known as Humboldt Lake.

It is located between the West Humboldt Range (to the southeast) and the Trinity Range (to the northwest), on the border between Pershing and Churchill counties, approximately 50 mi (80 km) northeast of Reno. It is fed from the northeast by the Humboldt River, the longest river in the Great Basin of North America. Interstate 80 passes along the northwest side of the sink.

The sink has no natural outlet. An channel connecting it with the Carson Sink was cut by the Nevada Department of Transportation in 1984 to prevent Interstate 80 and the town of Lovelock from flooding due to heavy snowfall in the preceding three years. This channel has been dry since 1986. The sink, along with the Carson Sink are remnants of the larger prehistoric Lake Lahontan that existed at the end of the last ice age, approximately 13,000 years ago.

The sink is protected as part of Humboldt Wildlife Management Area. The wetlands in and near the sink provide important nesting, foraging, and resting habitat to large numbers of migratory birds.

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