Trying to create contours from a 1m DEM at certain levels only when the contours fall inside a polygon with an field containing the desired contour elevation value.

See images below. For example in the western area I only want to show a -11.8m contour. The polygon has a field 'Critical_Depth' and value of -11.8. I've already used the aggregate function to colour the soundings related to a 'Critical_Depth' value. Is it possible to do something similar for contouring? Ideally if I need to adjust the critical depth of an area I would like the label colours and red contour lines to automatically update. I have the labels working, just need to figure out a solution for the contours.

0.1m contours

Desired result

  • Looks like you already created all needed contours. Try Intersect then filter. Or is the problem creating contours for a much bigger raster?
    – BERA
    Nov 22, 2020 at 9:59
  • Yes, sometimes the raster is >50km long and 0.5m resolution. Ideal solution would be to generate contours at certain elevation within each polygon that contains a field with that elevation. Would be nice to have it dynamic so that when the value in one of the polygons changes, the contours update - but that would probably not happen often. Nov 22, 2020 at 10:08

1 Answer 1


This is kind of a workaround, dont know if it is faster than creating contours for the entire raster every 0.1 m then intersect and selecting by polygon attribute:

For each feature/polygon in the vector layer:

  • Clip raster by mask layer, where the mask layer is each selected polygon
  • Execute contour with the clipped raster as input and by reading interval from the polygon
  • Store output in a list

Then merge all outputs in the list.

vlyr = QgsProject.instance().mapLayersByName('New scratch layer')[0]
height_field = 'height'
rlyr = QgsProject.instance().mapLayersByName('DEM')[0]

contourlist = []
for f in vlyr.getFeatures():
    clipped_raster = processing.run("gdal:cliprasterbymasklayer", 
            selectedFeaturesOnly=True, featureLimit=-1, 
    temp_contour = processing.run("gdal:contour", 
        {'INPUT':clipped_raster,'BAND':1,'INTERVAL':[f[height_field] for f in vlyr.getSelectedFeatures()][0], 'FIELD_NAME':'ELEV',

processing.runAndLoadResults("native:mergevectorlayers", {'LAYERS':['{0}|layername={1}'.format(c, 'contour') for c in contourlist],

enter image description here

  • Just tried this and I'm getting a polyline contour around the edge of the polygon created. Any suggestions on how to stop this? i.imgur.com/EmnFMQt.gif Nov 26, 2020 at 4:22

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