Silicon semiconductor detector systems were used to measure the energy-deposition spectra of 240-MeV/nucleon oxygen ion beams at the Bevatron of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. The results are useful for determining the composition of the beam, before and after passing through varying thicknesses of water absorber. In particular, contamination of the incident oxygen beam by carbon ions on the order of 1% was detected and resolved. Secondary particles due to nuclear fragmentation in water were identified and quantified. The experimental estimate of the mean free path of fast oxygen ions in water is <tex-math>$20\ {\rm g}/{\rm cm}^{2}$</tex-math>, in agreement with calculations from cosmic ray data and geometric cross sections.

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