The Sichuan basin is framed by mountains on all sides. It consists of low hills and alluvial plains, and several major rivers flow into the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River), which passes through the southern part of the basin. The seismically active Longmenshan Fault which caused the catastrophic 2008 Sichuan earthquake runs along the western boundary of the basin, separating it from the Tibetan plateau to the west.
This is where the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glypostroboides, previously only known in fossils and thought to be extinct) was discovered in 1944. The Dawn Redwood is distinctive because it is a deciduous conifer. The basin has minimal rainfall from June to August. The Sichuan basin is not only minimal in rainfall, but it also lacks variety in vegetation.