This study was conducted to investigate the effect of waterlogging on copper, lead and cadmium fractionation in Chinese purple soil. Heavy metals were added to purple soil at 80 % field capacity and waterlogging regimes as nitrate salts of 500 mg kg−1 of copper and lead, and 5 mg kg−1 of cadmium. Metals in the incubated soil samples were fractionated termly from 1 to 35 days by the sequential extraction procedure. Under both treatments, the heavy metals spiked in the soil were transformed slowly from the exchangeable fractions into more stable fractions, whereas their residual fractions barely changed. The transformation process of exchangeable fraction in soil was estimated by Elovich kinetic equation for the above incubation periods, and the constant B in Elovich equation was applied to reflect the transformation rates of metal speciation. It was found that waterlogging incubation could immobilize heavy metals, resulting in decreased lability and availability of the metals in purple soil. The effect of waterlogging on the redistribution of heavy metals in purple soil might be mainly related to the changes of pH, potential redox and hydrous oxides in varying soil-water systems.