With climate change and intensive human activities, the critical zone science has become a powerful tool for human to understand or handle the regional eco-environmental problems. The scale of critical zone researches can be divided into global scale, plate scale, regional scale, basin scale and bore scale. Among them, a Critical Zone monitoring network at basin scale is the foundation of the global network. Based on Critical Zone monitoring and survey for almost 4 years of Jianghan Plain in the middle reaches of Yangtze river, we proposed the research framework of Critical Zone at basin scale including 3 steps: (1) Construct 6-dimensions environmental gradients matrix. Identify main environmental gradients in terms of 4 spheres and 6 dimension based on the ecological and environmental issues at basin scale; (2) Focus on main eco-environmental issues and determine sensitive area or spots in upper, middle, lower reaches; (3) Dynamic monitoring of characteristic environment variable of sensitive spots and areas according to the interface of atmosphere/vegetation, surface/underground, vadose zone/saturated water zone, aquifer/aquiclude, pore aquifer/bedrock. Based on the aforementioned methods, aiming at the evolution of rivers and lakes in the Jianghan Plain, we considered the effect of large-scale hydraulic project (Three Gorge Project and South-to-North Water Transfer Project) and human activities (such as reclaimation land from a lake), and established a monitoring network of the Critical Zone in central Yangtze River which covered an area of about 4 000 km2 and included more than 6 monitoring sections, 65 monitoring wells, 10 monitoring depths and 4 environment variables. The work is based on the feature of Jianghan Plain and the scientific issue of distribution, transmission, retention and equilibrium effects of water and matter. The progress of critical zone is illustrated according to “source (depositional processes and environments) – migration (circulation of groundwater and surface water) – fate (human health and water purification) – predictions (critical zone model)” of water and matter. And the preliminary scheme of critical zone survey of the Yangtze River has been come up.This work provides the big data support for “the Great Protection of the Yangtze River” and a powerful reference for the design of the global monitoring network of the Critical Zone.