I have a layer of many polygons indicating water area, scattered everywhere. Some of them are very close to another.

I want to know what's the slop around the water sites. So I already have a layer of slope all across the whole area.

I intended to generate 50m, 100, 150 buffer, then use the tool "Zonal statistic as table" to give me the slope around those waters' data. But I found some polygons are located in the buffer area of another polygon. As you may guess, slope data on the water site is 0. If I go to zonal analysis directly I will get a wrong answer about the average slope.

So I want to eliminate the water area located in the buffer zone.

How can I do that using ArcGIS Desktop 10.3?

  • 1
    The below answer should hopefully work well for you then! Also, its best practice to include what software you're using in your questions so that those responding can do so appropriately. Good luck!
    – Lovette
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 19:10

1 Answer 1


If you're using ArcGIS, you're best bet is probably the Erase tool. You can erase the water polygons from your buffer polygons and then run Zonal Statistics on the resulting layer.

Also, you should make sure to use the "Outside Only" option in the polygon buffer analysis so that you are only analyzing the area outside of your water polygons.

  • Thank you. I think the erase tool has successfully solved my problem.
    – Beryl
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 23:07

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