Three dimensional flash imaging lidar technology is widely used in the field of military and national economic construction. The preliminary simulation research is an indispensable aspect in the design of the new lidar. In order to establish a simulation model most close to the real scene, the spatial effect of the simulation system during the laser roundtrip transmission process must be considered. This paper describes the physical mechanism of the formation of atmospheric turbulence, the power spectral density function of the distribution of atmospheric refractive index and the phase distortion due to atmospheric disturbances during light propagation in space. Then the phase-screen distribution of atmospheric turbulence is derived using power spectrum retrieval and time-dependent wavefront tilt parameter. In addition, numerical simulation is conducted using statistical methods. A three dimensional target range imaging simulation model containing laser characteristics, target characteristics, receiver characteristics and laser speckle is established. And the phase screen is introduced into the calculation model to simulate the results in turbulent atmosphere. The major contribution of this paper is transforming the influence of beam spreading and drifting caused by laser propagation in turbulent flow to the influence of target range imaging, which better reveals the diffusion and position drift of imaging on detection surface caused by turbulence. Results show that larger values of refractive index structure parameters and lidar target distance produce blurry and drifting imagery.