Thirty-six seabed samples from inshore and offshore Svalbard and the northern part of the Barents Sea were collected for dinoflagellate cyst (dinocyst) analysis. Svalbard is an important locality representing the distal influence of an attenuated North Atlantic Current, and crucial to the understanding of the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic. The study presents the first modern report of dinoflagellate cysts from this region making use of many recent taxonomic advances. Dinocysts are associated with waters of particular abiotic and biotic properties (temperature, salinity and nutrient content). On the basis of the dinocyst assemblages recovered from the sediments, several surface water types are recognized including those influenced by warm, saline Atlantic Water (AW) and those, where such influence is restricted.