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Temperature lapse rate (TLR), an essential parameter for snowmelt runoff analysis, was determined for the Satluj River basin in the Western Himalayas. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (NOAA/AVHRR) data sets were used to determine the land surface temperature (LST) of the region using the split-window algorithm proposed by Coll and Caselles (Journal of Geophysical Research, 1997, 102, pp. 16697-16713). The LST was correlated with the elevation values obtained from a US Geological Survey digital elevation model (USGS-DEM) of the same area and the trend showed an inverse relationship between LST and elevation. The TLRs for the study area on 2 February, 1 March, 26 March, 16 October, 1 November and 20 November 2004 were in the range 0.6-0.74°C/100 m. The results obtained were compared with lapse rates determined using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) LST maps. TLR determination in the past was based on air temperature data available from meteorological stations that are sparsely located in rugged terrain such as the Himalayas. As these measurements were point data and had been measured manually, they may have led to erroneous results. Satellite data, however, provide continuous and potentially unbiased recording provided an accurate radiometric calibration and atmospheric correction can be achieved. A previous TLR calculation using air temperature from meteorological stations for the western Himalayan region was found to be 0.65°C/100 m. Air temperature and LST from NOAA-AVHRR and MODIS-Terra data were found to be in good agreement. This type of study will be useful for snowmelt runoff modelling studies for the Himalayan region.