Shaanxi has long and narrow territory, with high terrain in south and north yet low terrain in middle. A number of terrains can be found here like plateaus, mountains, plains, and basins. The length from south to north is 870 km, and the width is 200 km – 500 km from east to west. From north to south, there are three landform regions, namely North Shaanxi Plateau, Central Shaanxi Plain, and Qinba Mountains. With regard to area, plateaus cover 9,260,000 hectares, mountains cover 7,410,000 hectares, and plains cover 3,910,000 hectares. Major mountain chains include Qinling Mountains and Daba Mountains. In Shaanxi, numerous well-known mountains can be found in Qinling Mountains, such as Huashan Mountain, Taibai Mountain, Zhongnan Mountain, and Lishan Mountain.

Qinling Mountains, as China’s south-north climate boundary, runs through the whole province from east to west. In the north of Qinling Mountains is the river system of the Yellow River. From north to south, main tributaries include the Kuye River, Wuding River, Yanhe River, Luohe River, Jinghe River (a tributary of Weihe River), Weihe River, etc.. In the south of Qinling Mountains is the river system of the Yangtze River, which includes Jialing River, Hanjiang River, and Danjiang River.


Shaanxi crosses three climatic zones, with huge difference in climate from south to north. Southern Shaanxi has the northern subtropical climate, the central Shaanxi plain and most of northern Shaanxi has the warm-temperate climate, and the region near the great wall in northern Shaanxi has the mid-temperate climate. The general climate features are as follows: In spring, it is warm and dry with little rainfall. The air temperature picks up rapidly and unsteadily, with weather of wind and sand. In summer, it is hot and rainy, with somewhat summer drought. In autumn, it is cool and wet. The air temperature goes down rapidly. In winter, it is cold and dry. The temperature is low, with little rain and snow.