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As a result of seems to be quite a versatile phrase, and I can't entirely figure out the contexts in which it is used. This statement is apparently wrong:

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, its acoustic energy prevented from being dissipated as a result of boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

However, this statement is apparently correct:

Sound can travel through water for enormous distances, its acoustic energy prevented from dissipating by boundaries in the ocean created by water layers of different temperatures and densities.

The only reason I can think of is because by implies the involvement of an agent (a noun), whereas as a result of implies a process, action, or event. What is the strict difference between by and as a result of? In which contexts can as a result of be used?

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  • There's nothing "wrong" with the first example, though the second is a bit more idiomatic.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 11, 2020 at 22:14

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