Projets terminés

Sino-Swiss project on Hg biogeochemical cycling in Baihua Reservoir, Guizhou, China

The project is carried out in the framework of the Sino-Swiss Science and Technology Cooperation (SSSTC) with the leading house at the EPF-Z annual report.

Description : April 1, 2009 witnessed the start of a friendly collaboration between two scientific groups on a three-year research project titled “The Distribution, Methylation, and Bioaccumulation of Mercury in Sediments of Baihua Reservoir in Guiyang, China”.


It is the first Sino-Swiss joint project between the Institute F. –A. Forel of the University of Geneva and the State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The goal of the project is to explore the distribution of mercury speciation and mechanism of mercury methylation and the consequent bioaccumulation in Baihua Reservoir, Guizhou Province, southwest China.


In June 2009 and June 2010, Professor Janusz Dominik, the principal investigator (PI) of the Swiss team, Dr Bian Liu, Dr Stéphane Guédron, and Lucie Huguet traveled to Guiyang, China for the filed sampling. During the field campaigns, the Chinese partners provided the Swiss team with great accommodation and hospitality.

In October 2010, the Swiss partner was glad to host a short visit of Professor Feng Xinbin, the PI of the Chinese team. In December 2010, Dr. Haiyu Yan started her exchange visit at the Institute Forel.


So far, two field campaigns have been successfully conducted. The preliminary results showed that

  • The reservoir had elevated mercury concentrations in the sediment and the anoxic layer of the water column.
  • The fish in the reservoir, which are mostly carps, had generally lower Hg concentration than the World Health Organization guild lines value (0.5 mg kg-1 wet weight).
  • A surprisingly low bioaccumulation of Hg in the fish of Baihua Reservoir is closely related to the persistent stratification of the water column, the food web structure, and the trophic condition of the reservoir.

Initial results were presented at international conferences :

  1. Liu, B., Yan, H., Li, Q., Huguet, L., Guédron, S., Feng, X., Dominik, J. Why low Hg bioaccumulation in a high Hg contaminated reservoir? --- a case study in Baihua Reservoir, Guiyang, China. Poster presented at the 15th International Conference on Heavy Metals (ICHMET) in the Environment. September, 2010, Gdańsk, Poland
  2. Liu, B., Yan, H., Wang, C., Guédron, S., Feng, X., Dominik, J. Mercury biogeochemistry in Baihua Reservoir, China. Poster presented at the 20th Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Europe Annual Meeting, May, 2010, Seville, Spain

Funding agency :


Sino-Swiss Science and Technology Cooperation (SSSTC), Switzerland


Chinese Academy of Sciences, China.

Project duration : April 2009 – March 2012

Supervisor and colleagues directly involved :


Swiss PI: Janusz Dominik

Chinese PI: Xinbin Feng

Lead researcher in Switzerland: Bian Liu

Lead researcher in China: Haiyu Yan