In this paper, a novel satellite image segmentation technique based on dynamic Harris hawks optimization with a mutation mechanism (DHHO/M) is proposed. Compared with the original Harris hawks optimization (HHO), the dynamic control parameter strategy and mutation operator used in DHHO/M can avoid falling into the local optimum and efficiently enhance the search capability. To evaluate the performance of the proposed method, a series of experiments are carried out on various satellite images. Eight advanced thresholding approaches are selected for comparison. Three criteria are adopted to determine the segmentation thresholds, namely Kapur’s entropy, Tsallis entropy, and Otsu between-class variance. Furthermore, four oil pollution images are used to further assess the practicality and feasibility of the proposed method on real engineering problem. The experimental results illustrate that the DHHO/M based thresholding technique is superior to others in the following three aspects: fitness function evaluation, image segmentation effect, and statistical tests.