Abstract:A one-dimensional numerical model and a two-dimensional numerical model of the hydrodynamic and thermal structure of Lake Shira during summer have been developed, with several original physical and numerical features. These models are well suited to simulate the formation and dynamics of vertical stratification and provide a basis for an ecological water-quality model of the lake. They allow for the quantification of the vertical mixing processes that govern not only the thermal structure but also the nutrient exchange, and more generally, the exchange of dissolved and particulate matter between different parts of the lake. The outcome of the calculations has been compared with the field data on vertical temperature and salinity distributions in Lake Shira. Lake Shira is meromictic and exhibits very stable annual stratification. The stratification is so stable because of the high salinity of the water. If the water in Lake Shira were fresh and other parameters (depth, volume, and meteorology) were the same, as now, the lake would be mixed in autumn. Using the newly developed models and using common meteorological parameters, we conclude that Lake Shira will remain stratified in autumn as long as the average salinity is higher than 3‰.