Abstract Data from a network of seven telemetered and three portable seismic stations operating in the summer of 1979 delineate two concentrated, east-west-trending zones of seismicity in the Svalbard archipelago. One zone, in Heer Land, Spitsbergen, which has been described previously, shows left-lateral strike-slip movements along a vertical WNW-ESE-striking fault. Another zone, in Nordaustlandet, reported here for the first time, has similar strike direction and dimensions as the Heer Land zone, but differs significantly with regard to its recurrence pattern. Zones of concentrated intraplate earthquakes appear to be prevalent on the landward side of continental margins in Arctic regions. The seismicity in these zones can be explained as the interaction of a regional stress field of plate tectonic origin with local zones of weakness.