The ray-tracing technique under the high-frequency assumption has been widely used in seismic wave propagation and migration. However, the practical use of conventional ray tracing is limited in complicated media especially when seismic data are band limited. Besides, the ray-tracing method also suffers from shadow zones in complex media. To alleviate these problems, we have developed a band-limited beam propagator and we apply it in seismic wave propagation and migration, which is flexible to implement and can be friendly to extract angle gathers. To derive the band-limited beam propagator, the band-limited ray-tracing method is adopted to compute the central ray of the beam. These rays in the first Fresnel zone are weighted to obtain the band-limited ray based on the assumption of a local plane wave. Then, the band-limited ray is extended to the band-limited beam propagator using the paraxial approximation. Because the beam propagator has a certain beam width perpendicular to the central ray, it has better illumination than the conventional ray-tracing method, and it could partially alleviate the problem of shadow zones. Finally, we use the band-limited beam propagator to develop a band-limited beam migration and analyze the angle gathers in complicated areas. Numerical examples on synthetic models indicate that the proposed band-limited beam propagator outperforms the conventional ray method in terms of illumination. Its applications in migration determine that it could enhance the imaging quality and produce better angle gathers in a complex area.

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