In this section it falls some 2,000 feet (600 metres) in less than 500 miles (800 km), and it is mostly unnavigable, with frequent rapids, culminating in a very deep, narrow gorge and falls at Longmen Gorge.The whole of this basin plateau, which is mostly above 3,000 feet (900 metres), is a peneplain (a region reduced almost to a plain by erosion) covered with a deep mantle of loess blown from the Gobi and the Ordos Plateau by the prevailing northwesterly winds of the winter season.The Han River valley itself broadens out near the city of Hanzhong into a fertile and densely cultivated basin about 60 miles (95 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) broad.
The plain consists largely of loess (the wind-borne silty deposits that also mantle parts of the northern face of the Qin Mountains), as well as redeposited loess washed off the plateau to the north. The third region, to the north, is the great upland plateau of northern Shaanxi.
Structurally this is a basin of largely undisturbed sedimentary rocks of immense thickness. On the eastern border of the basin the Huang He flows from north to south through a narrow, gorgelike trough.
The Daba Mountains range from 5,000 to 6,500 feet (1,500 to 2,000 metres) in height, with individual peaks reaching elevations of up to some 8,000 feet (2,450 metres).
Its northern flank in Shaanxi is heavily dissected by the complex pattern of the Han River’s southern tributaries.
The Shizitan 29 data demonstrate how humans adapted to challenging local conditions throughout the LGM, allowing them to stay within this northerly region without migrating to warmer southern latitudes.
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Microblade-producing groups repeatedly visiting this locality survived severe climate change by making use of fire, selective herbivore hunting, processing plant foods with grinding stones, and symbolic ornamentation such as ostrich shell beads.
NPP data also indicate the potential presence of flax and other fiber processing.
This erosion has been intensified by the effects of human occupation, which have destroyed the natural vegetation cover.
The Qin Mountains are not only a physical divide but also separate Shaanxi into two sharply differentiated climatic regions.
The range merges into the Funiu and the Xiong’er Mountains in Henan.