Hessbreen is a small valley glacier which last surged in 1974, and is typical of many polythermal glaciers in Svalbard. The present ice surface displays a wide range of structures that can be attributed to either quiescent-phase or surge-phase deformation. During quiescent-phase flow, primary stratification becomes slightly deformed into low-amplitude open folds, while a completely new structure, longitudinal foliation, develops in axial-planar relationship to these folds. The propagation of a surge front is associated with the formation of thrusts; however, not all of these break through to the surface. As the surge progresses, and the ice behind the surge front becomes extensional, the surface of the glacier breaks up into numerous crevasses, of which several hundred metre long transverse crevasses, convex up-glacier, are dominant. After a period of quiescence, these become degraded into crevasse traces, planar structures which are steeply dipping and have many different orientations. Overall, most ice which reaches the snout has not undergone significant cumulative strain, as indicated by the lack of deformation of both the primary structures and the later crevasse traces. The distribution of debris in Hessbreen is controlled strongly by the development of some of these structures. Angular supraglacial debris is intimately associated with stratification, while basal debris is lifted to en- and supraglacial positions in association with thrusting.