Is there a way to clip a terrain in ArcMap, or make sure it doesn't exceed a certain geographical extent area in the first place?

After creating my terrain from a multipoint file it looks like this:

enter image description here

As you can see, the interpolation goes beyond the extent of the original las files (red boxes).

With a TIN it's possible to limit the extent either before or after you create it; before by adding a surface constraint to the las dataset and after with tools like Edit TIN and Delineate Tin Data Area. However, these options doesn't seem to be available when working with terrains.

2 Answers 2


According to ESRI best practise for terrain datasets:

"Do not use clip polygons as a means for extracting/processing subsets of a terrain dataset. All data gets triangulated/pyramided regardless, so using a clip polygon is not appropriate for this task. Instead, extract subsets into separate feature classes and use those to define the terrain dataset."


You can clip TIN with polygon (if you have 3D analyst licence)


Or you can use the procedure explained here:

Clipping TIN in ArcGIS for Desktop?

  • check the question again; it´s not about TIN´s...actually it sounds like OP knows how to do it with a TIN ,)
    – geozelot
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 13:32
  • Thank you. But as ThingumaBob points out this is about terrains and not TINs in the traditional sense.
    – Linebeck
    Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 13:39
  • My bad, anyway I looked into the help, and it seems like you should be able to add 2D clipping polygon without rebuilding the terrain: desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/manage-data/terrains/… Commented Apr 6, 2018 at 13:47

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