# How to calculate the average elevation within a certain radius around a grid cell and apply the average to the grid cell in QGIS?

I have two layers in QGIS: a raster layer containing elevation, and a grid cell layer (polygon) containing 1km by 1km squares.

I am trying to create a new layer where the elevation of each 1km by 1km grid cell area is the averaged elevation from a 15km radius around itself.

I have tried to use the zonal statistics tool to calculate the mean elevation of each cell based on the elevation in the raster layer. But this method doesn't give a way of making the average include the 15km radius around the cell, only the cell itself.

I have also tried to create 15km radius circle buffers around the centre of each grid cell, but I am not sure how to calculate the area of each buffer circle and then apply it to the grid cell.

• @user2856 unfortunately, I don't think r.neighbours will do that. It will calculate the average of the K neighbours of the cell, but there is no way to calculate this area, then assign it to the entire grid cell of a different layer. Oct 6, 2023 at 12:51
• You could resample the elevation raster to 1km, then run `r.neighbors` on that resampled raster with a size of 31. Oct 8, 2023 at 15:49

If I understand the question correctly, here's one approach that should work.

1. Convert the raster to points using Raster pixels to points
2. Buffer the points by 15km using Buffer
3. Calculate zonal statistics (mean) using Zonal Statistics using the buffer from (2) and the elevation raster
4. Convert the zonal statistics (which will be polygons, like the buffers) back to points using Centroids
5. Rasterize the points using GDAL Rasterize (vector to raster)

For this last step, you will need to set the vertical and horizontal resolutions to the size of the original grid (1000m) and the output extent to the extent of the original grid.

• Thanks, this worked perfectly for me! Oct 10, 2023 at 18:04

An approach that can be done in a single step - though it requires some initial setup - would be to use the UserDefinedWeightsFilter in Whitebox Tools. You will need to install Whitebox Tools Core, as well as the Whitebox Tools plugin (from the Plugins menu).

You will also need a circular weights filter, in CSV format.

If you aren't after partial grid squares (ie just the centres), the below one would suit.

``````0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
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0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0
0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0
0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0
0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0
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0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0
``````

Then simply run the User Defined Weights Filter using the original elevation DEM, and the CSV weights filter. That will generate the average elevation in one step.

[I referred to https://stackoverflow.com/a/60626952 to derive Python code to generate the matrix above:

``````import numpy as np