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I have two shapefiles, a polygon shapefile (lake) and a line shapefile (boudary) I want to create a new shapefile "polygon to the north of the boundary"

I want to create a new polygon "area north of the border line"

What tool can I use in QGIS or other free GIS for this task?

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There is a QGIS plugin called Digitizing Tools:

The documentation says:

Split selected features with selected line(s) from another layer

applies to: line and polygon layer (multi or single part)

Splits all selected features of the active layer with the selected line features of another layer. The splitting creates new features (not multi features). Each new feature resulting from being split retains its original attributes.

  • 1
    it worked perfectly! – jirikadlec2 Jul 8 '14 at 20:53
  • @jirikadlec2 fantastic! – DPSSpatial Jul 8 '14 at 22:48
  • In my experience, it can only split with one selected line at a time (not selected lines). I get the following error message if I try more than one: "Please select only one feature to split with." – user3386170 Nov 29 '17 at 21:46
  • It split my polygon but only kept one half. The other half is gone. – Liz Oct 12 '18 at 0:35
  • You may have used 'cut' instead of 'split' – DPSSpatial Oct 12 '18 at 0:48

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