Observations of subglacial landforms yielding the configuration and dynamics of former ice-flows have for the first time been made in Rijpfjorden and Duvefjorden, Nordaustlandet, Svalbard, using sub-bottom acoustic, swath-bathymetric data and sediment cores. Five acoustic-stratigraphic units were distinguished suggesting the presence of a complete glacial–postglacial succession in the central fjord basins. 14C ages from the sediments indicate that the inner Rijpfjorden and central Duvefjorden were deglaciated before ca. 10.6 cal ka BP and 11.0 cal ka BP, respectively. Maximum sediment thickness in Rijpfjorden and Duvefjorden is 26 m, resulting in sediment accumulation rates of ca. 66 cm ka−1. The landform record suggests that the ice streaming in both fjords was topographically controlled. The considerably deeper basin and higher elongation ratios of the crag-and-tails in Duvefjorden are linked to the faulted bedrock and possibly to somewhat larger ice stream and/or more focused ice-flow compared to that in Rijpfjorden. De Geer moraines suggest slower retreat of a grounded ice margin from shallow areas of Rijpfjorden. In deeper areas of the fjords, the glaciers were probably floating, resulting in the lack of ice-marginal transverse landforms. The ice margin retreat from these areas was probably relatively rapid and dominated by calving.