The official answer, from geology.com, is: “Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.”
Geologists look at the earth and try to learn about its past by looking at at all of these elements—materials, structures, processes—and relating it to climate and natural weather patterns or events of the time period. They can then draw conclusions about the history of the earth and maybe even the future of the earth based on periodic recurrences of events, like natural changes in climate.
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